Critically ill woman faces jail time if she goes forward with lifesaving abortion.

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THURSDAY, APR 18, 2013 02:32 PM EDT

Critically ill woman faces jail time if she goes forward with lifesaving abortion

In addition to her health complications, doctors have confirmed that the fetus has anencephaly and is nonviable

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Critically ill woman faces jail time if she goes forward with lifesaving abortion Enlarge(Credit: Amnesty International)

According to a report from Amnesty International, a seriously ill and pregnant El Salvadorian woman may face jail time if she goes forward with a lifesaving and medically recommended abortion. Abortion is illegal under all circumstances in El Salvador.

The 22-year-old mother of one, identified only as Beatriz, is four-and-a-half months pregnant, but her doctors have confirmed that the fetus has anencephaly (developing without a brain and certain parts of the skull) and that the pregnancy is nonviable. In addition to the fetal diagnosis, Beatriz is experiencing critical health complications related to her lupus and kidney disease.

The hospital treating Beatriz requested legal permission to perform the abortion more than a month ago, but authorities have still not agreed to let them proceed. Now, if government policyand religious ideology interfering with a woman’s right to access abortion care or a doctor’s ability to exercise medical judgment and save a woman’s life sounds familiar, it should.

As reported by Amnesty:

Doctor say Beatriz could die if she continues with the pregnancy, but have not yet treated her because they fear that if they end the pregnancy they might be prosecuted under the country’s total ban on abortion…

The country’s Penal Code states that anyone seeking or carrying out an abortion could be given a long prison sentence. This means both doctors and Beatriz would be at risk of imprisonment if a termination is carried out.

“Beatriz’s situation is desperate and must not wait any longer. Her very chances of survival depend on a decision from the authorities,” Esther Major, Amnesty International’s researcher on Central America, said in a statement.

Beatriz has taken her request for medical services to El Salvador’s Supreme Court, where it is currently being considered.

“We hope that the Supreme Court treats this case with the urgency it merits, given that Beatriz’s life and health are at risk. She is suffering cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in being denied the medical intervention she so urgently needs,” Major said.

Katie McDonough is an assistant editor for Salon, focusing on lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.MORE KATIE MCDONOUGH.

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25 thoughts on “Critically ill woman faces jail time if she goes forward with lifesaving abortion.

  1. Didn’t you know the Catholics are pulling out all the stops to compete with Islam’s average reproduction rate of eight children per woman? Now if the rest of the world could force abortion on Catholics and Muslims every time one of them falls pregnant, we could be living in a sane world within a generation.

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  2. Dis interresant om te sien dat ons in n wereld woon waar die wat wil lewe verhoed word en die wat wil sterwe ook verhoed word. Ek se nog steeds dat hulle uthenasia moet inbring. Daar is mense wat regtig nie meer die sin insien om te lewe nie. Sekere vorme van depressie is onbehandelbaar. Jy kan slegs die simptome onderdruk. Jy kan nie ‘n persoon gesond maak daarvan nie. Dis geneties! Net so min soos Joost van der Westhuizen kan bid om reg te kom van sy siekte kan ‘n depressie lyer. Gebetjies se en bybel lees gaan niks help nie! Dit is pointless vir ‘n persoon wat depressie het om aan te gaan met die lewe. Sy lewenslus is total en al aangetas. Lewenslus is die essensie van bestaan. Daai fucked up religion gemors vehoed dat daar progressie in hierdie wereld is. Hierdie vrou wil lewe, maar lyk my sy gaan verhoed word. Daar is mense wat wil sterwe en hulle word ook verhoed om dit te doen. ‘n Persoon wat baie ernstig depressief is moet eventueel in ‘n gestig opgeneem word, wat nog waaaaaay erger is. Die belastingbetaler moet vir hom betaal. Laat die ouens hulle self ophang in die gestig! Hulle existence is pointless. Al wat so ‘n person kan wys na sy dood is ‘n uiters fucked up pynlikke bestaan. Waar is die mooi daaraan? En hulle moet dringend doodstraf ook terug bring! Laat die wat wil lewe lewe en die wat nie wil lewe nie sterwe! Die wat ook nie verdien om te lewe nie moet ook vrek! Jyt net een lewe, as dit nie ‘n plesier is nie waarom lewe?

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    • Adriaan, depression is as common as the cold virus these days. Sometimes it is endogenous and sometimes it is reactive. Reactive depression usually goes away if the cause is removed unless there is prolonged severe stress that causes post traumatic disorder which is characterised by chronic depression. The vast majority of cases can be successfully treated with anti depressants provided the person also tries to develop a different outlook on life. A lot of charismatic evanglical Christians become depressed because they are avoided by mainstream people who don’t want to listen to the constant stories about Jesus. Social isolation causes depression. The happy clappies are not exactly soft on each other either, so more blaming, anger and depression.

      Women get depressed more often than men because they are, for the most part, treated like second class citizens. If people all lightened up on their prejudices the world would be a happier place = less need for euthenasia.

      Joost van der Westhuizen is dying of motor neuron disease, not depression, although I would be depressed if I were in his shoes.

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  3. I know Joost is dying of a motor neuron disease. I just used that as an example. Yes woman tend to get depression easier than men, but I doulbt if it is due to them being treated like second class citizens. I guess it depends on where in the world you are talking about. I can think in countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan etc it might be the case, but woman in Western countries also have depression. They are especially succeptible to post natal depression. Wich tells me hormones might play a role. However more men commit suicide successfully. Woman might attempt more but men succeed more. Like I said I just used the Joost van der Westhuizen scenario to compare it with the severity of depression, certain types of depression for that matter. Motor neuron diseases have to do with the neurons. Depression has to do with neurotransmitters like Seratonin or a lack thereoff. I have depression myself and I can honestly tell you that there is no way out of it, not in this world! I have been diagnosed with it in 1999. I still have it. I go for sphycological counselling and I see a pshyciatrist. Its all in vein! Unlike other people who fear being murdered or get into a car accident I wish it would happen to me. I honestly cant wait to die! Im sure there are other people out there who are in the same position. Everyday is a pointless struggle.

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    • Adriaan, I am also prone to depression, it runs in the family. If I were to stop taking Prozac – one capsule twice a week is enough – it will take me a month or two to feel quite down all the time. Wanting to be murdered or dying in a car accident is another story. I don’t know whether psychological counselling is going to help, unless you have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. Talking things through does not help for me either, I can rather talk to myself as I don’t interrupt or disagree with myself and it doesn’t cost me anything. If you know that seratonin helps for depression, why don’t you take Prozac? I’v had doctors prescribing more “modern” medications for me which are variations of Prozac but they just made me want to sleep all day and gave me withdrawal symptoms because they are in your blood shorter than Prozac and yet they cost a lot more. I have an arrangement with my pharmacist – not many of them will do this, forget about Clicks or Dischem but you only need to find one – to sell me a packet of 28 Prozac 25 mg dosage for under R50. I had a script for similar, more expensive meds with them before. On the other hand, I don’t know whether you have unipolar depression although it sounds like it. Friend of mine – also male – does well on Wellbutrin although when I tried it I found it made me terribly irritable. I am probably what they call “bipolar” these days though psychiatry is another religion that doesn’t work for me either.

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  4. I know very little of this condition, except that it is not easy to treat and that diffrent things work for diffrent folks. A friend of mine is bipolar and on a lithium-based medication. While this works for him he complains that it makes him feel “numb” – he does not experience excitement to the same extent as when off the meds. He mentioned to me that aerobic exercise like running or cycling helps. By the way, he is reigous and often prays to his gods to help him – seemingly no positive results with that route.

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    • According to a psychiatrist I know, bipolar disorder, which used to be called manic depressive disorder, is actually very rare and is over-diagnosed. Lithium is what batteries run on. It messes up the thyroid. Aerobic exercise or cycling increase serotonin levels which helps for depression. Watching too much tv makes people depressed because you probably won’t exercise enough or sit ouside in the sun.Sunlight is a natural anti-depressant, that’s why a lot of people get grouchy in winter and people prone to depression dread the colder weather.

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  5. Serotonin can also make you feel edgy while cut off from your real feelings at the same time. Not good if you have creative pursuits. I’d rather be naturally the moer in and sarcastic sometimes than upbeat all the time. Being surrounded by stupid people can also make one depressed, so avoid people who wear you out with prattle that you can’t relate to, or change the subject.

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  6. Good advise, this:

    When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don’t take it out on someone you know — take it out on someone you don’t know.
    I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I had forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it.
    A man answered, saying, “Hello.”
    I politely said, “Could I please speak with Robin Carter?”
    Suddenly, the phone was slammed down on me.
    I couldn’t believe that anyone could be so rude. I realized I had called the wrong number. I tracked down Robin’s correct number and called her. I had accidentally transposed the last two digits of her phone number. After hanging up with her, I decided to call the ‘wrong’ number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled, “You’re an asshole!” and hung up.
    I wrote his number down with the word ‘asshole’ next to it, and put it in my desk drawer.
    Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I’d call him up and yell, “You’re an asshole!” It always cheered me up.
    When Caller ID came to our area, I thought my therapeutic ‘asshole’calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, “Hi, this is John Smith from the Telephone Company. I’m just calling to see if you’re familiar with the Caller ID program?”
    He yelled, “NO!” and slammed the phone down.
    I quickly called him back and said, “That’s because you’re an asshole!”
    One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for.. I hit the horn and yelled that I had been waiting for that spot. The idiot ignored me. I noticed a “For Sale” sign in his car window. .. so, I wrote down his number.
    A couple of days later, right after calling the first asshole (I had his number on speed dial), I thought I had better call the BMW asshole, too. I said, “Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?”
    “Yes, it is.”
    Can you tell me where I can see it?”
    “Yes, I live at 1802 West 34th Street. It’s a yellow house, and the car’s parked right out in front.”
    “What’s your name?” I asked.
    “My name is Don Hansen,” he said.
    “When’s a good time to catch you, Don?”
    “I’m home every evening after five.”
    “Listen, Don, can I tell you something?”
    “Yes?”
    “Don, you’re an asshole.”
    Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too. Now, when I had a problem, I had two assholes to call. But after several months of calling them, it wasn’t as enjoyable as it used to be.
    So, I came up with an idea. I called Asshole #1.
    “Hello.”
    “You’re an asshole!” (But I didn’t hang up.)
    “Are you still there?” he asked.
    “Stop calling me,” he screamed.
    “Make me,” I said.
    “Who are you?” he asked.
    “Don Hansen..”
    “Yeah? Where do you live?”
    “Asshole, I live at 1802 West 34th Street, a yellow house, with a black Beamer parked in front.”
    He said, “I’m coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers.”
    I said, “Yeah, like I’m really scared, asshole.”
    Then I called Asshole #2.
    “Hello?” he said.
    “Hello, asshole,” I said.
    He yelled, “If I ever find out who you are…!”
    “You’ll what?” I said.
    “I’ll kick your ass,” he exclaimed.
    I answered, “Well, asshole, here’s your chance. I’m coming over right now.”
    Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at
    1802 West 34th Street, and that I was on my way over there to kill my gay lover.

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  7. Gee Holy, I’m not a depression sufferer, but after reading your story I almost wish I was. I think I will follow your recipe anyway. Sounds like fun…….Johannie, you’re an asshole!!!!

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  8. I am on antidepressants! I use Nuzak and Solian, the generic for Prozac. Ive been on Prozac since 1999. Im on chronic! Im on a mood stabilizer right now. Im not bipolar!!!!!! I only have the lows, not the highs. For me using medication is like swatting an elephant with a flyswat. I don’t wear dark glasses, Im just realistic. I have been to 6 different psychiatrists. The last one said he thinks I have a personality disorder. That’s why he revered me to a phsycologist for counselling. Ive been diagnosed with schizophrenia also. I knew I didn’t have it. The medication just made me ill. I told my father and he didn’t want to believe me! Now my pshycologist sommer decided I am bipolar. That’s also bullshit!!! I also totally lost my respect for pshyciatry. I think its bullshit!!! Its kwazi science! Pshyciatry is precisely where tendtistry was 200 years ago. They do more damage than good! They are useless!!!! Like I said my only saviour is death. I can’t wait to die. Everyday is a day lived in vein. Its pointless! I hate my fucking live! Luckily I live in South Africa for that matter. Maybe they come and murder me. Or I die in a car accident! Can’t wait!

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  9. Adriaan, before you jump ship forever, try Parnate, it works for major depression where nothing else does. You have to modify your diet though; nothing fermented.

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  10. Holyshmoly I think you might have a point when you mentioned that I might have post traumatic stress. I have wondered about that in the past. Im not sure what could have brought it on. I was in a fight in 2009 and the police showed up. To me it was very traumatic, I cant think that that could have caused it, im not sure. I beat the other guy though. His friend hit me from behind. Anycase I had a few other incidences with three black guys trying to break into our house. I caught them redhanded. Luckily they ran of. That happened three times. I hate this country!!! Its to much for me! People go on and on about how the grass is not greener on the other shoars. What I know is that there is no grass here. Its just soil. Everybodys coping skills aren’t the same, some people are more tolerant towards stress. I come out of a family that is known for its high levels of stress. Im not very tolerant. People have different personalities, I for one hate black people. I hate them for what the have done, not because they are different! For me its too much to have them around, I just can’t stand them. Apparantly there are people who somehow like them. Maybe such people are telling themselves lies to ease the pain of dealing with them on a daily basis, well not me! I really would like to get out of this hellhole of a country. I just feel sorry for the poor rhinos. I heard today that the whole population of rhino was whiped out in the Mozambiquan side of the park. That is indeed very, very upsetting! I wish I could do something to help them, but my hands are tied behind my back.

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  11. If you beat the other guy up in 2009 instead of being beaten up yourself, you will not have post-traumatic stress, it’s more likely the other guy will, unless he went and beat the crap out of someone else again to vent his frustration. You can be glad those three blacks breaking into your house weren’t armed. These days most of them are armed and a third will have done murder. If you come from a “high stress” family – lots of screaming and shouting, maybe some hitting too – then your father was probably messed up from the border wars and your mother was missing-in-action as a parent. Nothing you can do about it. You don’t say how old you are. Maybe the answer would be to brush up on your skills and move to Australia. Leave all the shit behind, family included.

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  12. No my family is actually very stable in terms of the fact that my father has post traumatic stress and my mother also behaving strange. They are quite normal. What I mean is that the streak to be nervous is part of our family. My grandpa was also a nervous wreck. My father and mother are still married after 34 years. My father is a very smart guy, he has a phd in plasma physics. Im definitely thinking of moving to Australia.

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    • Well there’s your answer then: emigrate to a sunny place without niggers. Lots of Asians in Australia. Chinese don’t like niggers. They will be on your side.

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  13. Ha! Ha! Ill definitely will keep that in mind. Really don’t the Chinese get along with blacks? Well who does? Yes Australia is quite a fascinating continent. All most all the types of animals are venomous – Box jellyfish, blue ring octopus, olive sea snake, stonefish, cone shell, Sydney funnel web spider, red back spider, Bulldog ants, Taipan snake, death adder, tiger snake, Eastern brown, Western brown, Red belly, king brown etc. Then off course they have the Platypuss that’s a venomous mammal. They also have a type of tree called the gympie gympie. It’s a giant type of nettle that will send you through hell and back. Nevertheless a very interesting continent. They call it the island continent.

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  14. You can rather take your chances with the venomous fauna of Australia than the venomous ANC that fucks everything up. All these social grants for people who would rather breed and sit on their arses or steal for the rest of the day than do any constructive work, means that there isn’t going to be any growth in the economy. The infrastructure is falling apart. Anyone younger than 50 is mad to stick around. I am older than that and have resigned myself to living the rest of my years here. But for anyone else, rather get out.

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  15. The ANC absolutely sucks! That’s right, they absolutely and totally fucked up this country! Yes I agree, young people now a days are fucked up. One thing I can’t stand is mixed couples. The spineless attitude of white people also gets me.

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  16. Race mixing started five minutes after one of Jan van Riebeeck’s men spotted a Khoi woman for the first time in the Cape and they’ve been putting their backs into it ever since. It’s the millions and millions of poor who have no access to education or a future that scare me.

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  17. Well said Holyshmoly !
    Education is very important ! Now one should just hope that the educators and teachers in charge are competent, use reason and logic !!!!

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    • There aren’t any teachers or educators in charge, only cadre members suppressing education, because if the people become educated the ANC will be no more.

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