Salvadoran woman released after 14 years in prison for stillbirth

Ms Marroquín is released from prison.
Ms Marroquín is released from prison. Photo credit: Reuters

A Salvadoran has been released from prison after spending 14 years behind bars due do a stillbirth.

Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín, 34, suffered complications in her pregnancy and lost the baby in 2003, but due to harsh laws in her native El Salvador, she received a 30-year sentence for murder, The Telegraph reports.

The Ministry of Justice has now commuted her sentence and she was released from prison on Tuesday (local time).

Since introducing a total ban on abortion in 1998, El Salvador has accused dozens of women of murder after miscarriages and obstetric emergencies.

Ms Marroquín's release follows similar case in February, when Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was released after 11 years of a 30-year sentence.

On International Women's Day, thousands of people marched in the capital, calling for abortion reform.

"The Centre for Reproductive Rights will continue to shed light on the human rights violations caused by El Salvador's abortion ban," said Catalina Martínez Coral, the centre's director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

"We stand with our global and local partners, and will not rest until abortion law reform is a reality, and women's reproductive rights are protected and respected."

El Salvador is currently considering amendments to abortion law that would allow for a termination if the women's health or life is at risk, and in cases of rape and fatal foetal impairment.

It's now up to the country's congress to vote on them.