ECUADOR – Women demand decriminalisation of abortion for rape victims

Ecuador’s legislators are currently debating penal reforms, including some that would allow access to abortion in cases of rape, incest and forced artificial insemination. Abortion is currently only allowed when the woman’s health is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of the rape of someone with a mental disability. Wearing green handkerchiefs and carrying placards reading: “Surviving an abortion is a class privilege”, dozens of women demonstrated in Quito outside the National … Continued

ECUADOR / GUATEMALA / NICARAGUA – “You’re not supposed to go to health centres and end up in prison”

(Karen Duque, Public Defender, Ecuador) On 29 May, reproductive rights groups in Latin America petitioned the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of four young Latin American rape survivors who were forced to carry their unwanted pregnancies to term and become “mothers against their will”. The girls are from Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. They were younger than 14 years old when they were raped, two by relatives and one by a local parish priest. The … Continued

LATIN AMERICA – “Niñas no Madres”: litigation filed against Ecuador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua at UN Human Rights Committee

Women and girls in Latin America and the Caribbean are frequently forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term due to restrictive abortion laws or the lack of implementation of the current law establishing its legality. Abortion is completely illegal in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Dominican Republic, and Suriname. In Guatemala, abortion is only legal to avoid risk to a pregnant woman’s life, which is typically interpreted to mean immediate and imminent death. In Peru … Continued

ECUADOR – Abortion activism, women’s stories and prosecution for illegal abortion

Ecuador first banned abortion in 1837, when the country established its original penal code. Since 1938, when exceptions were created for women whose health is in danger and in cases of rape when the victim is considered mentally disabled, the law has remained largely unchanged, albeit the subject of intensifying public debate. Despite the near-total ban, health officials recorded 431,614 abortions between 2004 and 2014. Unsafe abortion accounts for more than 15% of maternal deaths … Continued

ECUADOR – Debating reform of the 1938 abortion law

In January 2019, Ecuador’s national assembly began to debate a bill on allowing abortion in cases of rape, incest and forced artificial insemination. If it is passed, Ecuador will join other Latin American countries that already allow abortion for cases of rape, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Panama. The bill must go through two rounds of debate in the assembly before a final vote. The legislation must then be approved by President … Continued

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