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  • Writer's pictureJose Arrieta

On Abortion and The Salvadorian Case

Updated: May 12, 2022

The right of women to have control of their bodies has been in our Zeitgeist in the past week. The discussion is essential as its implications can change the state of our social empathy and our moral justice.

Social empathy is weak. Moral justice is fickle. Take the example of El Salvador. El Salvador is one of the deathliest countries in the world. As such, the idea that a murderer is going to jail should not be especially new or problematic. I should not feel rage as I type. Alas, it is not and I do.

Let's play a game. What comes to mind when you read the following quote:

One answer could be that Salvadorians might be very abusive and men hit women and provoke miscarriages. Another is that hospitals are badly managed and police need to be called as women die in their beds. Many ideas could come to mind. But one did not come to my mind. I could not fathom that in El Salvador miscarriage is seen as a crime.

Miscarriage is an important part of our society. It is deeply ingrained in taboo and we talk about it too little. As with everything birth-related women face the brunt of the weight. Depression, reproductive problems, and broken dreams are common repercussions of a miscarriage. Fear of going to jail is not and should not.

I said I am enraged. I do not use this word lightly. I have written before about how unacceptable I find the moral foundation that catholicism instills in our bodies and in our societies. I blasphemed a lot then and I was not enraged then. I am now.

A crime. In El Salvador, if a child dies before birth it is seen as "aggravated homicide". In 2010 a woman was sent to jail for a stillbirth. Last week a woman was sent to jail for a miscarriage. Their lawyers have been hard at work. It might be that some future "feel good" documentary will see these women walk out of jail. And that all will be good in the world.

It is not. On two occasions the court system in El Salvador ruled that a personal tragedy was deemed worth sentencing the grieving mother to jail. To jail. The second sentence came after the International Court of Human Rights passed a zero EQ test and deemed stillbirths not a homicide in 2021. Last week, the courts preferred to send this woman to jail than to imagine that a personal tragedy is not murder.

A tragedy. Half a millennia ago a virus came to America. This virus first wiped out 95% of my foreparents. The virus then wiped thoroughly the moral foundations of the continent. The virus was transmitted by priests, monks, and missionaries who came and spoke the word of the heartless God of Abraham.

It is. tragic how good actions pave the road to hell. As such Salvadorian courts are paved with the best Autobahn pavement. What is worse is that courts codify the beliefs of a people. They represent what a population believes is important. They might be sluggish. But they are a testament to their country. A testament to the rotten morality of the Catholic mind.

There is nothing to explain about the inhumanity of sending a woman to jail for a personal tragedy. If you are looking to gain insight from my writing you are part of the problem. You should know better than imagine any feel-good angle from this tragedy. There is no insight into what means to be human. This is not a near miss but the result of millennia of careful heartless planning. Catholicism instills rotten values that deem it ok to send a woman to jail for 30 years after the death of her child but not serial rapists who lived in Rome for a while. There is nothing to interpret. There is nothing to learn. There is just rage.

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