November 29, 2020

Groups ask the president of Ecuador to expand the casualties of abortion

Several groups of women's organizations called on Thursday the president of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, to issue a favorable position to the reforms of the Organic Comprehensive Criminal Code (COIP) to expand the grounds for abortion.

The groups reminded the president through a statement that the proposal to decriminalize abortion for rape, among other assumptions, achieved a majority of 65 favorable votes in a recent vote of Parliament, very close to reaching the 70 necessary to achieve approval .

The organizations cited in the document several national and international bodies that have spoken publicly to recommend to the Government their support for a possible decision to expand the grounds for abortion in the COIP.

Among the people and organizations mentioned are the UN special health rapporteur, Dainius Pûras, who regretted in September the decision of the Plenary not to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape, and encouraged to issue legislation "that complies with the rules of rights humans".

Other organizations have been the Academy of Sciences of Ecuador, the Ombudsman's Office, the Pichincha Bar Association, the Country Alliance movement, chaired by Moreno, and the Ecuadorian Front for the Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights.

For its part, the Ecuadorian Spiritual Conference (CEE) on Thursday warned of the possibility of "another social unrest" in the country if Moreno expands, through a presidential veto, the grounds for abortion.

The communiqué of the EEC, which measured for the Government and the indigenous leadership to reach an agreement together with the UN, refers to the recent calm that exists in Ecuador after the widespread protests that chaotized the country for eleven days.

The mobilization censored a presidential decree, now repealed under an agreement, which eliminated the fuel subsidy, triggering the riots.

The National Assembly (Parliament) rejected last month to expand the assumptions to be able to abort in the country, including for cases where the pregnant woman has been raped.

The reform proposal that was rejected then, opened the possibility that women could go to the practice of abortion in case of rape, stupro, insemination not consented, poor formation of the fetus and incest.

In Ecuador, abortion is legal only when the life or health of the pregnant woman is at risk and when there is a pregnancy resulting from a violation of a woman with a mental disability.

More than 20,000 girls under fourteen gave birth in Ecuador between 2008 and 2018, according to official data.

According to the NGOs working on the subject, all were treated in the health system and the only response they received was to continue the pregnancy and its consequent maternalization.

80% of the cases were the result of sexual abuse in the family environment, at school or in their religious community.

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