Salvadoran Woman Accused of Abortion Faces Retrial

Aug 15, 2019
6:37 PM

Evelyn Beatriz Hernández, center, sits in court during a new trial, after her 30-year sentence for abortion was overturned in February, in Ciudad Delgado, on the outskirts of San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday, July 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

CIUDAD DELGADO, El Salvador (AP) — A young woman charged with homicide in El Salvador after delivering a baby into a toilet faced trial a second time Thursday.

The retrial of Evelyn Beatriz Hernández, whose pregnancy resulted from a rape, began in this town 2½ miles (4 kilometers) northeast of San Salvador before recessing in the afternoon when a prosecution witness failed to appear after not being summoned, defense lawyer Bertha María Deleón said.

Proceedings were expected to resume Friday.

El Salvador allows no exceptions for its abortion ban and authorities have used the law to pursue women who suffered miscarriages.

Hernández’s fetus was at 32 weeks when she felt intense abdominal pains and delivered it into a primitive toilet. She has said she didn’t know she was pregnant.

The Supreme Court in February overturned her 30-year sentence from her first trial and ordered that she be retried. She had served 33 months.

The Associated Press usually doesn’t identify victims of alleged sexual assault, but Hernández has spoken publicly about her case.