Inter-American Court of Human Rights requires the Salvadoran State to save the life of "Beatriz".

By unanimous vote, the Inter-American Court recognized that his health, personal integrity, both physical and mental, and life, are in a situation of extreme gravity and urgency to suffer irreparable harm.

In a landmark decision, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), the highest human rights court in the Americas, today required the Salvadoran State to take all necessary medical measures to ensure, as a matter of urgency, the due protection of Beatriz's rights to life and personal integrity, which means terminating her pregnancy as recommended by the treating physicians.

Beatriz, a 22-year-old Salvadoran woman, who suffers from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Erythematosus aggravated with lupus nephropathy and rheumatoid arthritis, is the mother of a 14-month-old boy and is currently in the 26th week of pregnancy with an anencephalic fetus, that is, without a brain, a major anomaly incompatible with extrauterine life.

On April 29, 2013, following a request by the Feminist Collective for Local Development of El Salvador, the Citizens' Group for the Decriminalization of Therapeutic, Ethical and Eugenic Abortion of El Salvador, and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) adopted precautionary measures in favor of Beatriz and required the State of El Salvador to "implement the treatment recommended by the Medical Committee of the National Specialized Maternity Hospital "Dr. Raúl Arguello Escalón", in order to safeguard Beatriz's life, personal integrity and health. Raúl Arguello Escalón", with the objective of safeguarding Beatriz's life, personal integrity and health. However, the State did not comply with the decision of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and therefore, the IACHR requested the intervention of the Inter-American Court.

In its resolution, the Inter-American Court considered that Beatriz's situation is of extreme gravity and urgency and that there is a risk of irreparable harm to her rights to life and physical and mental integrity.

"The resolution issued by the IACHR Court is a historic milestone in the protection of women's rights in the continent. Through its decision, the IACHR Court establishes the urgency of applying the necessary measures to immediately protect women who face serious health problems and require a therapeutic abortion," said Marcia Aguiluz, Director of CEJIL's Program for Central America and Mexico.

The resolution of the IACHR Court takes into account the sentence issued yesterday by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador, which rejected the appeal filed by the lawyers of Beatriz, in order to allow the doctors of the Hospital to interrupt the pregnancy.

However, the Inter-American Court pointed out that within the framework of said decision, the Salvadoran State is obliged to "guarantee that the treating medical team has the corresponding protection to fully exercise its function in accordance with the decisions that, based on medical science, said medical team adopts".

"We hope that the Salvadoran State immediately complies with this resolution of the Inter-American Court and proceeds to terminate Beatriz's pregnancy, so that she can continue with her life fully and safely," said Morena Herrera of Colectiva Feminista.

In situations of extreme gravity and urgency, the IACHR Court may take the provisional measures it deems pertinent, even if there is no case before the Court. The resolutions of the IACHR Court are mandatory for each and every one of the authorities of El Salvador, as a Member State of the Organization of American States (OAS), which signed and ratified the American Convention on Human Rights and accepted the jurisdiction of the IACHR Court.

Scroll to Top