ECUADOR – Ecuador’s parliament votes against allowing abortion in cases of rape and fetal anomaly by five votes, with six abstaining

Based in a 1938 law, abortion is not punishable in Ecuador if “it has been carried out to avoid a danger to the life or health of the pregnant woman and if this danger cannot be avoided by other means.” The law reform proposed to the Assembly would also have allowed abortion “if the pregnancy is a consequence of rape or incest, insemination without consent, or if the embryo or fetus suffers from an acquired … Continued

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

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