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News > Latin America

Ecuadorean Congress Keeps 'Abortion After Rape' Illegal

  • Women demanding the right to abortion outside the National Assembly, Quito, Ecuador, Feb. 17, 2022.

    Women demanding the right to abortion outside the National Assembly, Quito, Ecuador, Feb. 17, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @ReporteNi

Published 17 February 2022

The bill would have allowed girls, adolescents, and Indigenous women to interrupt a pregnancy resulting from rape up to 18 weeks of gestation.

On Thursday, the Ecuadorian congress did not approve the Justice Commission's majority report, which was favorable to the termination of pregnancy in cases of rape.


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For its approval, this report needed 70 favorable votes. But that didn't happen. Only 66 lawmakers voted in favor, 40 politicians voted against, and 27 representatives abstained.

The majority report allowed women of legal age to terminate a pregnancy up to 16 weeks of gestation. In the case of girls, adolescents and Indigenous women, the interruption was authorized up to 18 weeks of gestation.

During the presentation of her proposal, the Social-Democratic lawmaker Johanna Moreira pointed out that the norm does not oblige any woman to have an abortion. “The only possibility this bill grants is the opportunity to make a decision”, she explained and asked her collegues to support the bill.

Ecuadorian lawmakers also washed their hands on Feb. 3, when their plenary session ended the second debate on the bill but postponed the vote, arguing that the final text of the law should include all the elements discussed on that day.

Today, hours before the long-awaited vote took place, dozens of social activists gathered outside Congress to demand respect for women's rights. "Kelly should be playing with her friends, but she's taking care of her rapist's son," "Five weeks ago, Guadalupe requested an abortion for rape. She's in her 18th week and still waiting," read some signs hanging outside the National Assembly in Quito.

"Paty is 11 years old and urgently needs a caesarean section... The doctors say her body is very small and she could die in the process," denounced an activist, who participated in a sit-in with other half-naked women.

"Amparo is 14 years old, lives in an Amazonian community that is difficult to access. She travels 6 hours to receive health care. She has a 20-week high-risk pregnancy. She prefers to die before giving birth to the son of a rapist,” said one of the defenders of gender rights.

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