From Herrera to Herrera: women against the patriarchy in El Salvador

The voice that conveyed the information to Morena Herrera, from El Salvador, was foreign. “There are women who have been imprisoned for abortion,” the voice said, “and they’ll stay there for 30 years or more.” Herrera could not believe what she was hearing; under the criminal code, abortion carried a maximum sentence of eight years. Why such long prison terms? Morena Herrera asked the speaker, Donna Ferrato, how she knew about these women. Ferrato had just finished a photo essay for The New York Times on the criminalization of abortion in El Salvador, and she had heard the story from the imprisoned women themselves. One of them was Karina Herrera. The coincidence of sharing the same last name helped Morena embark on a journey to identify these women and take the fight for their freedom to national and international courts.

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