El Salvadoran woman released from prison after pardon for miscarriage Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez walks free from jail but celebrations muted for campaigners as other women in Las 17 remain incarcerated after losing babies in medical emergencies
"Abortion in El Salvador is completely illegal, even if your life is at risk. Currently women are sitting in jail because of abortions, miscarriages and deliveries gone wrong.
Guadalupe is one of the women in the group Las 17, 17 women who have been imprisoned between 12 and 40 years under this law because of pregnancy related issues. Guadalupe was originally sent to prison after giving birth to a stillborn baby and treated at a hospital for a life-threatening bleeding. After her treatment the doctors contacted the police that came to the hospital and handcuffed her to the bed. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2007.
On wednesday the 18th of February 2015 Guadalupe was set free from her prison sentence, after the El Salvadoran parliament voted to grant her pardon in January.
Her freedom was celebrated in the capital of El Salvador on the 23d of February with food, cake, music and poems. The atmosphere was happy, but the other women of the Las 17 were constantly present in the music, poems and speeches held by the celebrators. She is the first of the Las 17 to be set free. La Agrupacion Ciudadana and other supporters will keep on working for the freedom of the 15 remaining in prison "