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Norma J. Torres

A Salvadoran woman says her baby was stillborn. Officials called it a homicide and sent her to prison for 30 years

A Salvadoran woman says her baby was stillborn. Officials called it a homicide and sent her to prison for 30 years

Teodora del Carmen Vasquez was nine months pregnant and at work in a school cafeteria when she felt shooting pains in her abdomen.

She dialed an emergency number for help, but none arrived. A few hours later, bleeding profusely and sitting alone in a bathroom stall, she delivered a baby. Vasquez said that she was not conscious for the birth, but that when she came to, the baby was dead.

When authorities finally arrived at the school, they took Vasquez to the hospital in handcuffs. She was convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

That was in 2008. Vasquez is now 34, and has spent nearly a decade behind bars. Her 13-year-old son is being raised by Vasquez’s...

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