Reporter Sarah Spiller investigates the impact of a law in El Salvador that bans abortion in all circumstances, including rape, foetal abnormality, even when a mother’s life is at risk.
In April 2013 the case of a pregnant woman suffering from health complications and carrying a baby missing part of its brain ignited debate within this Central American state and abroad. Under El Salvador’s abortion law doctors wanting to operate on the mother would have faced jail if they’d carried out a termination. The case has led to international calls for El Salvador to re-think the ban.
Travelling around the country, Sarah Spiller hears the dilemmas faced by medical professionals torn between the care of their patients and their legal obligation to report cases of abortion. She examines claims that the abortion law has led to some women being imprisoned for up to 30 years after suffering miscarriages.
In a secretly recorded interview, the programme also reveals how the ban has driven women to seek dangerous illegal abortions.