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Government & Politics

State Representative from Cleveland to Visit El Salvador for Perspective on Abortion Ban

a photo of representative Howse standing with Planned Parenthood activists
State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) stands with Planned Parenthood activists.

State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) is one of five lawmakers from states that have or are considering abortion restrictions who are going to El Salvador to experience what life is like in a country that has an abortion ban.

The progressive State Innovation Exchange is sending Howse, along with lawmakers from Florida, Alabama, Arizona and Georgia, to El Salvador. The group’s Eme Crawford said the lawmakers will talk to ten women who have been sent to prison for violating that country’s strict abortion ban.

“What we have seen is when there are bans on abortion, that anything that happens with a pregnancy, be it miscarriage, is suddenly open to criminal intent and criminal questioning.”

Crawford said the trip will be uncomfortable and disturbing.

Criminalizing abortion

“They are going to witness the horrors of criminalizing abortion. They are going to be meeting with women whose lives have been devastated by the country’s ban on abortion.”

Howse has been an outspoken opponent of recent abortion restrictions, including the six week so-called “heartbeat” abortion ban signed into law this spring and struck down by a federal court. Supporters of legal abortion hope the stories they bring back will make lawmakers think twice before implementing more restrictions.