Human Rights Watch Pressures Ecuador to Legalize Abortion, Pro-Life Nation Fights Back

International   |   Wendy Wright   |   Apr 29, 2015   |   2:50PM   |   Quito, Ecuador

Human Rights Watch (HRW) told a key Ecuadoran politician in a letter last week that abortion restrictions are “cruel” and “degrading” to women, and that his country must reform its policies “to ensure that Ecuador complies with its international human rights obligations” on abortion.

The legal claim is absolutely false, say international legal experts like Professor Teresa Collett of the University of St. Thomas. Collett said the demand made by HRW to Dr. Mauro Andino of Ecuador’s Justice commission has “no basis” in law. The pressure to “legalize abortion in a broad range of cases has no basis” in UN treaties or any other legally binding convention to which Ecuador belongs, she said.

Ecuador’s constitution protects life from conception. Its criminal code allows exceptions if a pregnancy threatens the mother’s life, or untreatable health risk, or if a woman with a mental disability is pregnant by rape.

“Human Rights Watch and Planned Parenthood Global ramped up their campaign earlier this year to pressure Ecuador into removing all restrictions and making abortion easy to access,” said Wendy Wright of C-Fam. “But Ecuadorans are strongly pro-life.”

“Whenever we’ve consulted the citizens regarding abortion, the immense majority rejects prenatal euthanasia,” Ecuador President Rafael Correa recently said.

A 2014 Pew survey found 95% of Protestants and 84% of Catholics in Ecuador say abortion is morally wrong.

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Speaking of the pressure coming from the UN groups, Correa said: “They can do whatever they want. I will never approve the decriminalization of abortion.”

“Anything that challenges life from the moment of conception is quite simply, treason​,​”​ he said.​

LifeNews Note: Wendy Wright writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute.