Even When Abortion Is Illegal, The Market May Sell Pills For Abortion
In the central market in San Salvador, you can buy just about anything you want: tomatoes by the wheelbarrow full. Fresh goat’s milk straight from the goat. Underwear. Plumbing supplies. Fruit. Hollywood’s latest blockbusters burned straight onto a DVD.
And in the back of the market, in a small stall lined with jars of dried herbs, roots and mushrooms, you can buy an abortion.
"I have all types of plants to treat all kinds of diseases," the woman who runs the shop says through a translator. "For example, problems with your liver, your kidneys, stomach problems, nerves, for cancer — for everything."
She says she also has a bitter tea that can take care of an unwanted pregnancy.
Abortion is completely banned in El Salvador and punishable with a prison term of anywhere from two to 50 years in prison. So this woman asks that we not use her name.
Her tea only works, she says, in the first six weeks of pregnancy. If a woman is seeking an abortion later than that, the herbalist arranges to get something far stronger from a local pharmacy: pills used to treat stomach ulcers that are sold generically as misoprostol.
"They come asking for help," the woman says. "The majority of them are minors — young girls who say they were raped by their stepfathers or by people a lot older than they are."
Photo: In the markets of San Salvador, El Salvador, you can have your palm read, you can buy plumbing tools … and you can purchase abortion pills. (John Poole/NPR)
Reblogged from mediaconsortium