Another woman has fallen victim to an abusive man who attempted to force a woman to have an abortion. The body of 26-year-old Lilian Beatriz Mendez Ramirez was found in El Salvador on October 21, 2017, with Henry Alberto Salazar Burgos sentenced to 50 years in prison this month for her death.
Ramirez and Burgos had been dating when she got pregnant, but when Burgos got a new girlfriend, he told Ramirez to have an abortion. She refused, so Burgos began making his plans to kill her. According to evidence found on their phones, Ramirez met with Burgos on October 20, 2017, because her car was in the shop and she needed a ride home. Instead of driving her home, Burgos drove out of town, pulled over onto the side of the road, and strangled Ramirez to death, tossing her body onto the side of the road.
Ramirez was eight months pregnant when she was murdered.
According to ElSalvador.com, Burgos showed no remorse after his actions. After killing Ramirez, he met a friend at a bar, and then went to a concert.
The Specialised Judgement Court for a Life Free of Violence and Discrimination for the Women of San Salvador sentenced Burgos to 40 years for aggravated femicide, and an additional 10 years for causing an non-consensual abortion. “The man (Salazar Burgos) did not want his (current) girlfriend to know so that is why they travelled by car when he killed her,” prosecutor Douglas Melendez said in a press conference. “He strangled her and he dumped the body between Olocuilta and Miramar.” The government also conducted a DNA test on Ramirez’ child, proving that the baby had been fathered by Burgos.
It is far too common for pregnant women to be murdered after refusing to get an abortion; homicide is a leading cause of death for pregnant women. While abortion is frequently touted as something women need if they’re in domestic violence situations, the reality is that abortion doesn’t save women from dangerous situations. It merely forces women to make an unthinkable choice under terrible circumstances, and allows their abusers to successfully continue controlling their victims.
If you are living with domestic violence – pregnant or not – there is help. Call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or visit thehotline.org to chat with someone when you are in a safe location.
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