Reproduction and the Rule of Law in Latin America

By Michele Goodwin & Allison M. Whelan

When Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez was rushed to [the] hospital after giving birth to a stillborn baby boy, the doctors first treated her life-threatening bleeding and then called the police, who handcuffed her to the bed. In El Salvador, where all abortion is illegal and emergency wards are turned into crime scenes, the confused, weak, and desperately ill 18-year-old maid was placed under investigation for terminating her pregnancy and driven away in a police van.