FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2017 file photo, women protest outside a courtroom, demanding that the government free women prisoners who are serving 30-year sentences for having an abortion, in San Salvador, El Salvador. A young woman who birthed a baby into a toilet in El Salvador faces a second trial for murder on Monday, July 14, 2019 in a case that has drawn international attention because of the country's highly restrictive abortion laws. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez, File)

Salvadoran accused of abortion faces retrial, hefty sentence

July 15, 2019 - 12:00 am

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — A young woman who birthed a baby into a toilet in El Salvador faces a second trial for murder Monday in a case that has drawn international attention because of the country's highly restrictive abortion laws.

Evelyn Beatriz Hernández had already served 33 months of her 30-year sentence when the Supreme Court overturned the ruling against her in February and ordered a new trial, with a new judge. This is the first retrial of an abortion case in a country that aggressively pursues legal cases against women who have experienced miscarriages and obstetric emergencies, accusing them of murder.

Women's rights advocates hope the country's new government will soften its stance on women's reproductive rights — starting with an acquittal for Hernández. Dozens of women have been jailed with similar convictions.

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