Efforts to legalise abortion for first time since 1988 hinge on pushing through changes before conservative legislators take office in May

Moves to overturn El Salvador’s ban on abortion could be thwarted unless lawmakers work quickly to push through changes before a more conservative group assumes office in May.

Abortion is banned in all circumstances in El Salvador, and women accused of undergoing the procedure can be charged with aggravated homicide and sentenced to up to 50 years in jail. However, a bill proposed last August would legalise abortion in some cases.

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