Teodora is free after 10 years behind bars

20 February 2018, 12:49 UTC |

Finally! Teodora has been released after a court reduced her sentence. She was forced to spend a decade behind bars in El Salvador after having pregnancy-related complications resulting in stillbirth.

Teodora del Carmen Vásquez suffered a stillbirth in 2007, after the rapid onset of serious pain while she was at work. Police arrested her as she lay in a pool of blood. She was later sentenced to 30 years for ‘aggravated homicide’ in a trial full of irregularities under El Salvador’s total ban on abortion.

Amnesty International has been campaigning for years to overturn the total ban on abortion in all circumstances in El Salvador. Teodora's release is yet another step towards justice where the total ban on abortion has led to at least 27 other women to be incarcerated. 

“It’s encouraging to see Teodora stepping out of jail, where she should have never been in the first place, but El Salvador is still far from fully ensuring the rights of women and girls in the country,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“Authorities in El Salvador must urgently repeal this outrageous abortion ban which has created a pervasive context of discrimination, pain and injustice.”

Thousands of Amnesty supporters have taken action to try and overturn the total abortion ban in El Salvador, to make sure that no more women are imprisoned, and those in prison on pregnancy-related convictions are released.

Thank you to all of those who took action by sending solidarity messages and writing letters on Teodora's behalf during Write for Rights 2015!