Ecuador rejected on-going pressure to legalize abortions again last week when lawmakers voted against a bill allowing unborn babies to be aborted in cases of rape.
The Irish Catholic reports lawmakers in the National Assembly narrowly rejected the pro-abortion bill by five votes. If it had passed, it would have allowed abortions in all cases of rape and incest, as well as for non-viable fetal deformities and non-consensual artificial insemination.
Currently, the South American country protects unborn babies from abortion, except in very limited cases. Abortions are permitted if a woman with mental disabilities is raped or if the mother’s life is at risk.
Here’s more from the report:
Some legislators proposed that instead of decriminalising the abortion of children conceived in rape, rapists be given greater penalties.
Tens of thousands of Ecuadorians marched on the streets of Guayaquil in June to protest the bill, as well as to support marriage, conscience protections, and parental rights.
Archbishop Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus of Quito issued a statement saying, “abortion cannot be the answer that a civilised society gives to the pain and anguish of women, men, and their families. Talking about abortion as a solution is a painful irony…abortion cannot be a ‘solution’, it is a drama, a failure of every society.”
For years, powerful pro-abortion groups have been pressuring Ecuador and other pro-life countries to legalize the killing of unborn babies. In 2015, the United Nations urged Ecuador to legalize abortions as part of an anti-discrimination treaty. Human Rights Watch did as well, describing abortion restrictions as “cruel” and “degrading” in a letter to a top political official.
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Jonathan Abbamonte, of the Population Research Institute, wrote more about the situation earlier this year:
International and local pro-abortion organizations have long lobbied hard to legalize abortion in Ecuador. United Nations entities including UNICEF and the Human Rights Council (HRC), and U.N. treaty-based bodies including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Human Rights Committee (CCPR) have called on Ecuador in the past to legalize abortion. …
A majority of Ecuadorian citizens are firmly pro-life. A 2012 survey conducted by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) at Vanderbilt University found that a majority of Ecuadorians held that abortion is not justifiable in cases of health of the mother. A 2014 LAPOP survey later found that a slight majority of Ecuadorians believed abortion was justifiable when the mother’s health is endangered but a significant proportion of the population still maintained that abortion would be illicit under these circumstances.
Abbamonte said Ecuador is one of the most “staunchly” pro-life countries in South America. He said its constitution guarantees the right to life “from conception.”