THIS WEEK: Rep. Howse To Join Delegation Of State Legislators To Visit El Salvador For Fact-Finding Mission On Abortion Bans
State legislators on the front lines of abortion ban battles to meet women who have been imprisoned in El Salvador as a result of the country's ban on abortion
 
 

On November 12-15,a delegation of five state legislators from states hostile to abortion rights, including several who passed high-profile abortion bans in 2019, will travel to El Salvador, a country that has criminalized abortion and sentenced women to prison as a result, to witness firsthand the horrors of abortion bans.


Participating state legislators from State Innovation Exchange’s (SiX) Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council members include: Ohio State Representative Stephanie Howse, Alabama State Representative Merika Coleman, Florida State Representative Cindy Polo, Arizona State Representative Raquel Terán, and Georgia State Senator Nikema Williams.


In 2019, Alabama banned abortion entirely, while Georgia and Ohio passed bans on abortion starting at six weeks in pregnancy - before many women even know they are pregnant, resulting in what would essentially be an all-out ban on abortion (none of these laws are currently in effect while litigation continues). Florida just filed a similar bill, and Arizona is a longtime home to abortion restrictions. 


El Salvador is considered to have the most extreme abortion ban in the world and regularly charges, prosecutes and imprisons women for aggravated homicide if they are suspected of having an abortion -  even in cases when women have suffered a miscarriage or obstetric emergency. One of the most recent cases, Evelyn Hernández, made international headlines after she was charged with aggravated homicide having delivered and lost her pregnancy she did not know she was expecting due to rape. Hernández was sentenced to 30 years in prison and served three years before being released by a judge. She was retried a second time in August 2019 and was acquitted of all charges. The attorney general’s office is currently  appealing the judge’s decision, opening the possibility of a third trial.


During the trip, lawmakers from these five states will visit the prison where 10+ Salvadoran women are currently incarcerated. They will also meet with activists, health workers and experts on the connection between strict abortion policies and contraception, sex education, early pregnancy and maternal health.


Media interested in exclusive photos or interviews with the legislators and experts, contact eme@stateinnovation.org. Track the state legislators’ journey on social media, by following #SiXReproGlobal. 


WHO:           Ohio State Representative Stephanie Howse


Alabama State Representative Merika Coleman


Florida State Representative Cindy Polo


Arizona State Representative Raquel Terán


Georgia State Senator Nikema Williams


Kelly Baden, VP of Reproductive Rights, State Innovation Exchange 


Paula Avila-Guillen, human rights attorney & Director of Latin American Initiatives at Women’s Equality Center


WHAT: Delegation of five state legislators from states hostile to abortion rights, including several who passed high-profile abortion bans in 2019, will travel to El Salvador, a country that has criminalized abortion and sentenced women to prison as a result, to witness firsthand the horrors of abortion bans and reflect on their efforts to protect abortion access in their states.


WHERE: San Salvador, El Salvador


WHEN: November 12 - 15, 2019


CONTACT: Eme@stateinnovation.org


The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) is a national resource and strategy center that helps state legislators to improve people’s lives through transformative public policy. SiX provides legislators with on-the-ground support; creates tailored policy research, trainings, and communications guidance; and fosters collaboration between legislators—across chambers, across regions, and across state lines—and with grassroots movements.


SiX launched the Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council (RFLC) in 2018. Now a cohort of more than 420 legislators from 46 states, RFLC members work to protect and expand abortion rights and access and amplify the need for sound and strong state policies that support reproductive health including access to abortion care.

 
 
 
  
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THIS WEEK: Rep. Howse To Join Delegation Of State Legislators To Visit El Salvador For Fact-Finding Mission On Abortion Bans

 

On November 12-15,a delegation of five state legislators from states hostile to abortion rights, including several who passed high-profile abortion bans in 2019, will travel to El Salvador, a country that has criminalized abortion and sentenced women to prison as a result, to witness firsthand the horrors of abortion bans.