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The woman from El Salvador was released from prison after a 30-year sentence for abortion



A woman from El Salvador, who has served nearly a third of her 30-year prison sentence on charges of abortion and violating a strict abortion ban in El Salvador, was released on Monday, activists said.

Sarah Rogel was arrested in October 201

2 after she went to hospital with bleeding injuries caused by what she said was a fall while doing housework. Rogel, a 22-year-old schoolgirl, was then prosecuted and convicted of killing her unborn daughter.

“Sarah never deserved to be in prison,” said feminist activist Morena Herrera. “While mourning the heartbreaking loss of her pregnancy, Sarah had to be with her family. Instead, she was unjustly imprisoned for nine years.”

Her release from prison in Sacatecoluca, 56km southeast of the capital San Salvador, was originally ordered a week ago, but Rogel was forced to remain in custody until the deadline for prosecutors to appeal her release.

El Salvador has one of the strictest abortion bans in the world. It does not allow exceptions, even for rape or if the mother’s life is in danger, and prison sentences can be extended to 40 years.

In recent years, some decisions have been overturned, and several women have been released from prison after serving parts of their long sentences.

Yet women are often prosecuted for stillbirths and abortions caused by medical emergencies.

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