In Ecuador, Parliament votes against the decriminalization of abortion

Ecuadorian MPs voted Tuesday against the decriminalization of abortion for cases of rape, including incest, as well as in case of fetal malformation.

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Clashes between women activists protesting for the right to abortion and police erupted in Quito on Tuesday (September 17th) after the decision of the Ecuadorian Parliament. DOLORES OCHOA / AP

Even in cases of rape, abortion will continue to be punishable by law in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian Parliament voted on Tuesday, September 17, against the decriminalization of abortion for cases of rape, including incest, as well as in case of fetal malformation. The vote remained tight, with seventy elected voters voting against the proposed decriminalization of abortion, while sixty-five MPs voted in favor.

According to the Penal Code in force since 2014, a woman who causes an abortion or allows another person to incur a penalty ranging from six months to two years in prison. If during the procedure the mother dies, the person who performed the abortion risks a sentence of up to sixteen years in prison.

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The legislation in force in Ecuador, a conservative country in which 80% of the population is Catholic, allows abortion only when the life or health of the mother is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of the rape of a woman. suffering from a mental handicap.

Protesters against abortion in front of the Ecuadorian Parliament in Quito, Tuesday 17 September.
Protesters against abortion in front of the Ecuadorian Parliament in Quito, Tuesday 17 September. DOLORES OCHOA / AP

Pro-prosecution activists demonstrated in front of the parliament in Quito, and clashes with the police broke out after the vote of the deputies. Protesters opposed to abortion, meanwhile, let their joy explode after the decision of Parliament. According to the NGO Human Rights Watch, nearly 2,000 girls under the age of 14 give birth each year to a child born of rape.

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