El Salvador Supreme Court Respects Constitution, Life

A person’s a person, no matter how small, even if he or she has anencephaly and will only live for a few hours after birth.

It’s a guiding principle: from the moment of conception the new human person has the right to live, and no one else’s rights can trump that right.

This fairly simple principle is enshrined in the constitution of El Salvador, which explicitly forbids abortions and protects life “from the moment of conception.”

El-Salvador-mapSo when a woman whose doctors claim may die if she carries her baby to term sued for the right to have an abortion the Supreme Court read the text of their Constitution and said sorry, but no. Not in El Salvador.

The ruling read, in part, “This court determines that the rights of the mother cannot take precedence over those of the unborn child or vice versa, and that there is an absolute bar to authorising an abortion as contrary to the constitutional protection accorded to human persons ‘from the moment of conception’.”

Anencephaly—which is when the brain fails to develop in the fetus—does not change this because, while the child is physically incomplete, the lack of a brain is a defect, like a cleft palate or being born with no legs. These defects certainly color the life of the child, but they do not render the child not-a-child. Even when missing major parts, the child is the sort of thing that ought to have those parts if some defect had not interfered, so the humanness of the child is not taken away, thus neither are the rights of the person taken away.

The potential harm to the mother’s health also does not change this because directly intending a death to prevent a potential death can never be justified except in the case of resisting unjust aggression. In this El Salvador case, while her doctors claimed she would almost certainly die if she carried the baby to term, other doctors disagreed.

“Health and well-being of the mother” is a loophole large enough to drive a truck through when accommodating pro-abortion doctors get involved. All of a sudden a few days of bad feelings are diagnosed as suicidal tendencies and the baby gets the sharp-toothed forceps. Or worse.

But even if applied perfectly, “health and well-being of the mother” cannot justify killing the baby in the womb—he or she has just as much right to live as does the mother, and the circumstances the mother finds herself in do not, can not change that.

I’m glad some country in the West still recognizes this and will stand up for the right to live that we all possess as human persons from the moment of conception.


Categories:Abortion Breaking News Culture Pro-Life

  • Robb

    Two sets of doctors offer two different recommendations. Tom picks the one he likes and demands the woman whose life hangs in the balance follow his choice of medical advice.
    Where I get confused is as to how Tom, living in another country, gets to choose between the two, but the woman herself has no say.

    It’s more ironic considering the specious claims this site has made about the Affordable Care Act allowing the government to dictate medical care, and how terrible that would be.

    • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

      You have no self-awareness, do you, Robb? I did not choose to believe one set of doctors over the other: I only mentioned the other doctors because you, yourself, chose to believe one set while ignoring the other. I pointed out the other doctors to point out that your position is based on what you wanted to believe rather than all of the facts available in the case.

      My position is based on the inherent dignity of the child in the womb, its inviolable right to life, and the fact (not opinion) that abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life.

      You, not I, have taken an irrational position based on an ideological preference rather than facts and science.

      It is only more ironic if you consider an abortion a strictly medical procedure like removing an appendix rather than what it is: murder.

      • Robb

        I’m sure you can point out when I said the woman should have an abortion.

        • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

          I think anyone who reads your comments, particularly the one about the Affordable Care Act, will see the implication.

          • Robb

            You’re making things up. My point is clear: this site has said the government cannot dictate what medical treatment a person must undergo. This woman has two different medical recommendations, and the government is forcing her to choose one. How is this different?

            Either the government can choose what treatment is most effective, or they cannot. You can’t have it both ways.

            Further, as you thankfully have illustrated, the only person here who has chosen which medical care the woman should receive is you. Ironic since you are leveling such an accusation at me.

  • Mrs. Hude

    My mother’s cousin & husband adopted a baby who’s brain had not developed. In fact, she had but a brain stem. Doctors told her the baby wouldn’t live long, wouldn’t be able to hear or see, or know anyone. Her adoptive mom could make her laugh. She smiled a lot and knew she was loved by her family. She lived to be 22 years old.

    • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

      If we still had “like” buttons on comments I would have clicked it. Thank you.



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