United Nations Committee Targets Ecuador, Wants Pro-Life Nation to Legalize Abortion

International   |   Marie Smith   |   Mar 3, 2015   |   7:43PM   |   Quito, Ecuador

The UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) continued its distortion of the anti-discrimination treaty to promote abortion during its Sixtieth Session in Geneva.

While reviewing Ecuador’s report, a number of experts on the treaty monitoring body questioned the official Ecuadorian delegation on the country’s abortion policy seeking expansion beyond the current exceptions which allow abortion when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life, when there is a serious untreatable threat to health, or when a mentally handicapped woman conceives as a result of sexual assault.

A news report co-authored by staff from Planned Parenthood Global and Human Rights Watch summarized the intention of pro-abortion activists that participated in the CEDAW reporting process, “The CEDAW committee should recommend that Ecuador remove restrictions and criminal sanctions for abortion, particularly for victims of sexual violence, to address the public health crisis created by unsafe abortion. It should also urge Ecuador to ensure that women have access to abortion in cases in which it is already legal.”

Official UN press coverage of the CEDAW review reported on statements by committee members supporting expansion of access to abortion. Questions included, “What was being planned to ensure implementation of the existing guidelines in a non-discriminatory fashion? What was being done to make sure that women and girls were informed of the possibility to receive such abortions?



One expert stated that the denial of abortion when the pregnancy resulted from rape “could amount to torture and inhuman treatment.  Such women had very limited choices.” She asked, “When would that issue be readdressed, and therapeutic abortion opened to all women victims of rape and not only those with mental problems?”

Representatives from Ecuador told the Committee that article 45 of their constitution protects the right to life from the moment of conception but also responded that “protocols for therapeutic abortions had been greenlighted”, and once in place “would eventually be applied to all health systems.”


The delegation also explained that Ecuador has “strict protocols regarding maternal deaths, as that was the only Millennium Development Goal that Ecuador had not yet met” and explained that there are currently 93 cases of abortion under investigation.

A CEDAW expert also questioned, “…what would happen when the right of the foetus was in contradiction with the fundamental rights to life and well-being of the mother?

Abortion activists are eager to see laws protecting women and children from the violence of abortion changed in Ecuador as a result of the CEDAW review, “The CEDAW committee’s scrutiny can be a game changer. Last year, the Peruvian government issued its long-awaited therapeutic abortion protocol the same week the CEDAW committee reviewed Peru’s abortion situation.”

Yoko Hayashi, CEDAW Chairperson, instructed the delegation that Ecuador would soon receive the concluding observations through its Permanent Mission in Geneva and the government “was encouraged to apply them fully.” You can find all related documents on the CEDAW website.

The CEDAW session also reported on the activities of a number of its committee members which reveals their radical activist ideologies:

Ms. Pimentel said that she had attended two events in Argentina on the legalization of abortion, organized with support from human rights groups including Amnesty International, members of academia and representatives of State agencies. A central aim of both events had been to present the legalization of abortion as a universal human rights issue rather than an exclusively women’s issue.


Ms. Leinarte said that she had given a presentation on the exploitation of women in prostitution at the Women and Justice Summit in Istanbul, during which she had explored the legalization of prostitution in Islamic cultures and countries.

Distortion and re-interpretation of treaties have been conjured up by pro-abortion legal strategists to advance access abortion and to portray abortion as a human right while in fact no international treaty includes a right to abortion. Observations and recommendations instructing countries to change laws on abortion are part of this strategy but are not binding and can be ignored by a country.

Such ‘instructions’ ignore the fact that abortion denies a child her or his right to life and triggers powerful physical, emotional and spiritual shockwaves that negatively impact a woman’s life.

Ecuador will likely experience increased pro-abortion pressure not only CEDAW, from the Human Rights Council, and other UN treaty bodies, but also from the Inter American Commission on Human Rights.

PNCI reported in December on a new collaboration between the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to assist “governments of OAS member States in the implementation of recommendations of international human rights mechanisms, including human rights treaty bodies, Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, and the Universal Periodic Review, and of IACHR recommendations when appropriate”.

Ecuador should continue to say “No” to the violence of abortion and maintain its respect for the dignity of life beginning at conception as stated in its constitution.
LifeNews.com Note:  Marie Smith is the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.