November 21, 2014
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) - El Salvador's Supreme Court is hearing opening arguments in the case of a woman suffering from kidney problems and lupus who has not been allowed to terminate a pregnancy in which the fetus has almost no chance of surviving.
El Salvador's laws prohibit abortion, even when the woman's health is at risk, so any doctor who terminates her 20-week pregnancy would face arrest and criminal charges.
Supporters gathered Wednesday outside the court building where the case of the 22-year-old woman is being heard. For privacy reasons, she has been identified only as "Beatriz."
Beatriz has lupus, a chronic immune disorder. She also suffers kidney failure. Ultrasound shows the fetus has only a brain stem, a condition known as anencephaly. Most babies born with anencephaly live only a few days.