Beatriz is a young wife and mother of a one year-old son in El Salvador. She is pregnant. According to her doctors, due to a genetic defect, the brain is not growing and the baby has no chance of survival. Her doctors also say that Beatriz’s Lupus, and other medical complications related to it, will kill her if she carries the pregnancy to term and gives birth. She is now 26 weeks pregnant and her doctors warn that each day she continues the pregnancy her health will continue to deteriorate.
In most countries, Beatriz would be able to follow her doctor's advice and have an abortion to save her life. But, because any type of abortion is illegal in El Salvador, this isn't an option. For Beatriz, being forced to continue this pregnancy is not just awful, it's a death sentence.
Despite pleas from El Salvador’s Minister of Health on her behalf, Beatriz has been denied the care she desperately needs. If she is not allowed to end her non-viable pregnancy, Beatriz is likely to die, which will also leave her 1-year-old son motherless and her husband a widower. Beatriz has now gone through every legal avenue in her country to save her life -- including pleading in person before the Supreme Court for the right to to live and be a mother to her son -- and has been denied. Her last hope is for Pope Francis, who has the moral authority to direct her country’s officials to allow her to live, to intervene on her behalf.
I’m a lifelong Catholic and I’m also the mother of a four year-old daughter. I can’t imagine my government and my church sentencing me to death and my child to a life without a mother. I believe the only right course, the only course in keeping with my faith, is the one that preserves the life at stake -- that of Beatriz. I’m pleading with the Holy Father to help her and uphold the moral truths we share.
El Salvador’s policy will not save any innocent life, but it may well take the innocent life of a mother. There is nothing Christian about such a policy. Please help save Beatriz -- for her, for her family. She has done nothing wrong. Let His Holiness show the world that the Catholic church is an instrument of God's mercy by coming to this young woman's aid.
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