Ecuador lawmakers voted this week to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions up to 18 weeks if their mothers are victims of rape.
The Guardian reports the Ecuadorian National Assembly voted 75-41 in favor of the pro-abortion bill, with 14 lawmakers abstaining.
However, President Guillermo Lasso may veto the legislation. In January, the newly-elected president said he would veto legislation allowing unborn babies to be aborted in cases of rape, BioEdge writer Michael Cook wrote at LifeNews earlier this year.
“I am determined to veto it, I cannot tell you if it will be a total or partial veto, it depends on the final text of the National Assembly,” Lasso said.
Follow LifeNews on the MeWe social media network for the latest pro-life news free from Facebook’s censorship!
Last April, the South American country’s Constitutional Court decriminalized abortion in cases of rape.
The legislation approved by the National Assembly this week would allow unborn babies to be aborted up to 12 weeks for rape victims in the cities, up to 16 weeks for rape victims in rural areas and up to 18 weeks for minors who are rape victims, according to the Guardian.
Pro-life advocates mourned the news, while abortion activists complained that the legislation does not expand abortions enough.
“The assembly has once again failed girls, women, survivors and victims of sexual violence,” pro-abortion activist Sarahi Maldonado with Las Comadres told Reuters. “They put in more barriers so girls are obliged to give birth and seek illegal abortions.”
But pro-life advocate Paul Garcia told the news outlet that every human life is valuable even if they are conceived in rape.
“Life cannot be negotiated,” Garcia said. “They want to murder another victim inside the womb of the mother.”
Until the court ruling last year, Ecuador prohibited abortions except if the mother’s life was at risk or if the mother had a mental disability and was raped. Most Central and South American countries protect unborn babies from abortion.
For years, powerful international 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.
In 2020, human rights groups across Central and South America accused the United Nations of pressuring their countries to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions during the coronavirus crisis.
Legalizing abortion does not save lives or help women. Abortions destroy unborn babies’ lives and often harm mothers physically and/or psychologically. Pro-abortion groups often overestimate the number of illegal and unsafe abortions that occur in countries across the world. Growing research also indicates that access to basic health care, not abortion, is what really improves women’s lives.
The image below shows an unborn baby at 18 weeks.