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Morena Herrera

Morena Herrera

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Quick Facts
Gender female
The details
Biography

Morena Herrera is a Salvadoran feminist and social activist, noted for her work against her country's ban on abortion. During the Salvadoran Civil War, which ended in 1992, Herrera served as a left-wing freedom fighter for the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) against the United States-supported government. She has been particularly active against abortion since it was abolished in 1997, and in 2009 began working with the Citizen’s Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion, which she now heads. Herrera was named one of the BBC 100 Women in 2016 for her contributions to women's rights in El Salvador.

Biography

Active in campaigning for social change from a young age, during the Salvadoran Civil War, which ended in 1992, Herrera served as a left-wing freedom fighter. She fought for over ten years with the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) against the United States-supported government.

Herrera was outspoken on the Peace Accords, signed in 1992, which she saw as deeply problematic for women's rights in El Salvador. She has said of them: "Those accords left big holes when it came to women’s rights. I realized I had to fight another way. Women’s rights are human rights and they have to be a priority." The situation for women and abortion has worsened since 1997, when changes in the penal code made abortion completely illegal, when it had previously been acceptable in severe cases where a woman's life was at risk or she had been raped. Due to the country being strictly Catholic, abortion is considered unacceptable, even for pregnant teenage girls who face many problems.

Since 2009, Herrera has worked with the Citizen’s Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion, which she now heads. In 2013 she was outspoken when the Supreme Court of El Salvador denied an abortion to a terminally ill woman, who stood no chance of surviving the birth, calling them "irresponsible".

Her work was subject to a report by Amnesty International in January 2015, and in 2016 she was named one of the BBC 100 Women.

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