You can read 19 more articles this month
WOMEN’S rights campaigners celebrated after the release of a woman sentenced to 30 years in prison for “aggravated homicide” after giving birth to a stillborn baby in a toilet.
Crowds cheered as Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz was freed from prison having served three years of her sentence. A court ruled that she should be retried after an appeal and allowed her to live at home until her case is heard.
As she left the prison, campaigners gathered at the gates chanting: “Evelyn, you are not alone.”
Ms Hernandez has always denied knowing that she was pregnant, with she and her lawyers arguing that no crime had been committed after she gave birth to a baby boy in 2016. She collapsed soon after the birth due to the loss of lots of blood.
But prosecutors said Ms Hernandez was guilty of murder because she failed to seek antenatal care which they said could have saved her son’s life.
Ms Hernandez told a harrowing account of gang rape during the initial trial with her lawyers telling the court that she had been too afraid to report her ordeal to the police.
She was unaware that she was pregnant as she had bleeding which she attributed to her menstrual cycle.
El Salvador has some of the world’s strictest abortion laws with terminations banned in all circumstances. More than 20 women are believed to be behind bars, many charged with “aggravated homicide” after stillbirths or miscarriages.
In December 2018, rape survivor Imelda Cortez was released after she was accused of attempting to abort her abuser’s baby. The 20-year-old woman was arrested after giving birth to a baby girl in a toilet.
However she described suffering years of sexual abuse and rape from her 70-year-old stepfather and a DNA test proved he was the child’s father.
Ms Hernandez told the court: “I did not want to abort my son.” Much of the case focused on whether the baby died in the womb or shortly after birth but medics were unable to give a definitive answer.
Pro-choice organisation Agrupacion Ciudadana welcomed Ms Hernandez’s release and said they hoped a new judge would consider that there was no scientific evidence to incriminate her.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.