Human Rights

Newborns in El Salvador were stabbed and strangled… but media claims mothers were jailed for ‘miscarriage’

WARNING: This article contains disturbing crime scene photos of deceased infants.

In 2008, Maria Edis Hernández Méndez de Castro, known as “Manuela,” was convicted of aggravated homicide in El Salvador and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. She was charged with murdering her newborn baby by throwing him into a septic tank where he died suffocating on feces. This murder is now being used by the Center for Reproductive Rights and its affiliate in El Salvador—the Citizens’ Group for Decriminalization of Therapeutic, Ethical and Eugenic Abortion—to attempt to legalize abortion in the pro-life nation.

Lies are fueling the campaign to legalize abortion in El Salvador

Manuela, who died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010 while serving her sentence, is just one of a number of women (known as “Las17+”) who have been convicted for murdering their newborns, yet are being used by pro-abortion groups to push for legalized abortion under the guise that they “have suffered pregnancy-related complications and miscarriages” and are wrongly imprisoned for illegal abortions.

Pregnancy-related complications? Miscarriage? Neither of these line up with the evidence of murdered newborns or with the disturbing evidentiary photos seen below. Manuela and the other women didn’t suffer pregnancy-related complications or miscarriages, yet that is the defense being mounted in order to decriminalize abortion in El Salvador, which would then create a ripple effect in other Latin American countries.

Litigation has, so far, led to the release of at least nine of these women who are either on parole or have been pardoned or granted clemency, as well as five who have had their convictions reversed, according to Ligia De Jesus Castaldi, a professor at Ave Maria School of Law. In an article for The Public Discourse, Castaldi further explained that these cases have nothing to do with abortion.

READ: Media lets ‘expert’ abortionists spread lies, dehumanize preborn children unchecked

“The facts of each case, corroborated by scientific and documentary evidence as well as witnesses’ testimony, all of which are known to the Center for Reproductive Rights and its affiliate, have in every instance been deliberately distorted to conceal or minimize the death of a newborn child at the hands of his or her mother,” said Castaldi. “The aggravated homicide of newborn infants have been mischaracterized as ‘abortion,’ ‘miscarriage’ or ‘obstetric emergency.'” (emphasis added)

The cases behind the pro-abortion lies

More than 17 women are currently at the center of the abortion debate in El Salvador. For many of them, the evidence is clear that their babies were not miscarried and there were no pregnancy-related complications. Rather, the evidence shows that these innocent newborn babies were very much alive before they were violently killed by their mothers.

María del Tránsito Orellana Martínez was convicted of aggravated homicide but has been given a commutation of sentence — meaning she is still considered guilty but is free. Her newborn daughter’s body was found with laces tied around her neck and her cause of death was listed as “strangulation suffocation.” There were seven witnesses, yet the pro-abortion organizations funded by Planned Parenthood in El Salvador are claiming she miscarried. Rewire News celebrated her release from prison, claiming Martínez suffered an emergency during which her baby died, but an emergency or a miscarriage does not cause a baby to be strangled with laces from an apron, as is clearly seen in the image below:

Daughter of María del Tránsito Orellana, whom she is convicted of strangling to death after her birth. (

Evelyn del Carmen Sánchez Cabrera currently remains imprisoned for the murder of her newborn daughter who was found “wrapped in rags moaning in pain inside a septic tank.” She had been stabbed in the chest and neck. Her cause of death was determined to be severe blunt trauma to the brain and perforation of the left lung caused by a knife. Cabrera confessed to the killing. This was not a miscarriage or pregnancy complication. This was infanticide.

Daughter of Evelyn del Carmen Sánchez Cabrera, who confessed to killing the newborn. (

Alba Lorena Rodríguez Santos has been released from prison, though her conviction still stands. She had been sentenced to 30 years after her full-term newborn son was found dying in a black bag with lacerations on his face and neck. His cause of death was severe traumatic brain injury, contusion, and compression of the neck. Rewire News spread the lie that he died in a medical emergency, while later quoting Rodriquez Santos as stating, “I was raped by my own brother and two other men. I gave birth 20 days after my mother died.” (emphasis added)

The government of El Salvador is clearly failing women when it comes to the rampant sexual violence in the nation, but this does not excuse the violent murder of a newborn baby, whose horrific death is completely ignored by Rewire and other news outlets in the name of legalizing abortion. This also was not a pregnancy complication or a miscarriage. This was infanticide.

Son of Alba Lorena Rodríguez Santos, who was murdered after his birth. (

Cinthia Marcela Rodríguez Ayala was convicted of aggravated homicide in the death of her newborn son. She is now free, though still considered guilty. Her full-term son’s cause of death was a fracture of the neck and trachea and injury to the heart caused by scissors. Rewire News also celebrated her release.

Carmen Guadalupe Vásquez Aldana has been pardoned of her conviction of aggravated homicide in the death of her newborn son who was found dead in a grocery bag in her room. It was determined that he breathed at birth. The Center for Reproductive Rights applauded her release in the video below:



Ena Vinda Munguía Alvarado‘s release from prison was also celebrated in the Center for Reproductive Rights’ video. She was convicted of attempting to kill her newborn son who was born at 40 weeks gestation. He was found alive inside a septic tank covered in feces. He survived, and Alvarado admitted to trying to kill him.

Pro-abortion groups claim these women suffered pregnancy emergencies and miscarriages and were wrongly accused of crimes because abortion is illegal. However, the evidence is clear that these babies were murdered after birth. Here it is clear that the abortion industry is actively attempting to blur the lines between abortion and infanticide, acting as if even a newborn has no rights and can be killed, simply because the mother does not want that child.

Legal abortion does not prevent infanticide. If it did, infanticide would no longer exist in the United States where abortion is legal until birth, but sadly, it does.

READ: Abortion activists expand their ‘ideological colonization’ to Latin America

American media outlets are spreading misinformation

Regardless of the evidence, American media outlets such as CBS and Rewire News are furthering pro-abortion propaganda. “Seven months pregnant, Manuela, a mother of two, said she miscarried at her modest home in rural El Salvador,” wrote CBS reporters. “But the police, and a judge, didn’t believe her. They charged and convicted her for aggravated homicide, sentencing her to 30 years in prison.”

Perhaps the police and judge were right not to believe her, since the evidence pointed to clear homicide after her newborn suffocated on feces in a septic tank. American media outlets are ignoring how these children died. As a result, American celebrities—including Alyssa Milano, Sarah Hyland, and others—are further spreading the lies. And incredibly, even some United States state legislators traveled to El Salvador to throw their support behind 13 of these convicted killers—all in the name of abortion.

It’s time for the American media to stop spreading lies in the name of expanding abortion. These poor, brutally murdered children deserved better.

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