Prolifers denounce media manipulation favoring legal abortion in El Salvador

Pregnant_Credit_Syda_Productions_Shutterstock_CNA.jpg Credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock.

Sara Rogel, a woman convicted in El Salvador of murdering her newborn, recently was released from prison on parole, and international media, in an apparent effort to sway public opinion in support of legalized abortion, are claiming Rogel was sentenced to 30 years in prison for procuring an abortion. 

Abortion is prohibited in El Salvador and the constitution recognizes "every human being as a human person from the moment of conception." However, the sentence for abortion is two to eight years in prison, and is rarely served.

Speaking with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner, Sara Larín, the founder of the pro-life VIDA SV Foundation, charged that “the big news media companies are lying.”

"In a few hours the headlines of press releases from CNN in Spanish, the Spanish newspaper El País and Deutsche Welle (DW) stated that Sara Rogel was convicted and released for having an abortion, which is a complete lie."

"The law against abortion has absolutely nothing to do with it," Larín stressed.

After serving almost ten years of her 30-year sentence for murdering her daughter, a Salvadoran court released Rogel on parole May 31. The nation’s attorney general’s office will appeal the ruling.

Various international media are now claiming Rogel was given a 30 year sentence for the crime of abortion. CNN en Español stated the woman was "sentenced to 30 years in prison in El Salvador for a miscarriage”, while DW headlined: "El Salvador: Sara Rogel accused of abortion is released."

France 24 said, "Court orders release of Salvadoran woman sentenced to 30 years in prison for accidental miscarriage,” while EFE read, "Salvadoran woman accused of abortion is released." El País said Rogel was "given a 30 year sentence for a miscarriage.”

Rogel was not sentenced for the crime of abortion. According to the 2013-2014 Work Report of the attorney general's office, Rogel "was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the aggravated homicide of her newborn, whom she murdered with a blunt object."

Prosecutors in Cojutepeque “established with different pieces of evidence that the accused tried to change her version of the facts when she was treated at the National Hospital of Cojutepeque, claiming she had fallen,” the report states.

The authorities found the body of Rogel's daughter, 49 hours after she was born, buried in the courtyard of her house.

However, organizations pushing for the legalization of abortion, such as the El Salvador Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion, claim that Rogel’s case was an "obstetric emergency" caused by her fall while washing clothes.

Alberto Romero, an activist with the group, posted on Twitter that Rogel was "sentenced to 30 years for losing a pregnancy as a result of a fall."

El Salvador's penal code states that a woman who procures an elective abortion or the person who performs it is to be sentenced from two to eight years in prison. There are currently no cases of women in prison in El Salvador for being convicted of abortion.

However, if convicted,  the judges usually give the woman alternative sentencing due to the light penalty prescribed by law. 

Larín explained to ACI Prensa that "abortion in El Salvador carries a two to eight years prison sentence and on average one case a year is prosecuted throughout the national territory."

The pro-life leader pointed out the sentence is light for abortion, and because the women can be given alternative sentencing, "the women never see jail.”

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Unlike in the abortion cases, Rogel was convicted of “aggravated homicide, where the penalty ranges from 30 to 50 years in prison,” Larín explained.

"Her getting out on parole is something all convicts who meet the requirements can get," she said.

The Salvadoran pro-life leader stressed that "at no time is it correct to confuse parole with maintaining that it was proven she had a supposed miscarriage and for that reason she was released."

"Feminists are convinced that by telling a lie a thousand times it can become the truth," she continued, calling it “manipulation of the masses.”

Larín noted however that "the truth always comes to light and any honest person in the authentic search for justice can discover for themselves that the mainstream media are lying."

The pro-life leader pointed out that "the abortion lobby lies and uses the drama of women convicts to manipulate public opinion."

The media is similarly manipulating the case of a woman with the pseudonym of Manuela, also convicted of killing her newborn. Abortion activists claim there are 17 women in prison in El Salvador for aborting their babies or having a miscarriage, when in fact they were convicted of infanticide.

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