Beatriz sends thanks following medical treatment
Since May, we've been asking for your help to save the life of Beatriz - a pregnant mother in El Salvador desperately in need of emergency medical treatment.
Finally, thanks to your support, we can announce the good news that Beatriz has received the treatment she needed and is now recovering in hospital. And now she has shared her words of thanks.
San Salvador, 10 June 2013
To my friends from the Colectivo Feminista and everywhere else,
I want to thank you for having supported me all the way, and without you I think I wouldn’t have been able to stand being in the hospital.
I also want to thank you for all the actions you took for my life.
This situation has been very difficult and without your support I wouldn’t have been able to get through it.
I hope my example serves so that other women won’t have to go through what I suffered.
And I’m very happy because now I’m going to be with my son and with my family again.
Well, that’s all that I wanted to say, and with these words of thanks I will sign off,
Beatriz, a pregnant 22-year old mother of one, was severely ill, suffering from Lupus and kidney disease.Fifteen doctors from El Salvador's National Maternity Hospital recommended a therapeutic abortion to save her life, finding that, tragically, the foetus she was carrying suffered severe defects and was unlikely to survive birth.
However, in El Salvador abortion is illegal in all circumstances - including in cases of rape and medical emergency.
Doctors were ready to perform the life-saving procedure but they needed the permission of the government to do so - and the government refused to give it.
Beatriz pleaded with authorities to save her life so she could raise her one year old son. However, El Salvador's government continued to ignore her pleas.
In desperation, Beatriz's case was taken to the Supreme Court. Unbelievably, after seven weeks of deliberations, the Court refused to help Beatriz access the medical treatment she so desperately needed.
The decision to allow Beatriz the life-saving procedure was left solely in the hands of the Salvadoran government.
Thank you for responding to the plea for Beatriz to receive medical treatment!
Shocked by the Salvadoran authorities' treatment of Beatriz, we asked for your help.
Your response was overwhelming.
Amnesty supporters worldwide sent letters, wrote emails, signed petitions and took online action en masse. More than 170,000 signatures were presented to President Funes.
You flooded Twitter and other social networking sites in support of Beatriz, spreading the story of her shocking situation and raising awareness of the Salvadoran government's refusal to allow her the life-saving operation.
Your actions helped get international media coverage - the story was reported by the New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, the BBC, and others major news outlets. Ultimately, you helped us put pressure on the Salvadoran authorities to act.
As a result, late last week El Salvador's health ministry finally bowed to the international pressure and agreed to allow Beatriz an emergency C-Section to save her life. Sadly Beatriz's anencephalic baby sadly died shortly after the operation.
Our thoughts are with Beatriz and her family as she recovers in hospital from this difficult experience.
Thank you to all our supporters and everyone who took action to help save Beatriz's life. Without you Beatriz may not have lived through this horrific ordeal.