Ecuador’s Crackdown on Abortion Is Putting Women in Jail

Ecuador’s Crackdown on Abortion Is Putting Women in Jail
For decades, abortion was considered a private matter. Now, a Nation investigation shows, women who terminate—or lose—pregnancies are facing prosecution and prison time.

By Zoë Carpenter
May 7, 2019 (May 20-27 Issue, The Nation)

Last year, a lawyer named Cristina Torres got a cryptic phone call from a young woman. The caller explained that she was contacting Torres on behalf of her mother, Sara (a pseudonym), who was imprisoned in the city of Latacunga, a windy crossroads on the Pan-American Highway, high on the volcanic plateau of central Ecuador. Sara was hoping to secure a form of legal relief that would allow her to serve part of her remaining sentence outside of detention. The woman asked Torres to take on her mother’s case—but as for the crime that Sara had been charged with, the daughter preferred not to speak of it. Just go visit my mother, she pleaded.

So Torres drove to Latacunga and, in the prison’s visiting room, met a tall woman with an upturned nose and honey-colored eyes. As Torres would learn, she’d had a difficult life. As a teenager, Sara said, she was raped by her aunt’s husband and became pregnant.


Las Comadres Is Fighting to Make Abortion Safe in Ecuador—Even While It’s Illegal

Las Comadres Is Fighting to Make Abortion Safe in Ecuador — Even While It’s Illegal
The group represents a new tactic in abortion-rights activism, which skirts legal restrictions and the often risky surgical procedures that defined clandestine abortions in the past.

By Zoë Carpenter
May 2, 2019

Quito, Ecuador — The first time Tamia Maldonado accompanied a woman through an abortion, she was just 18. They met at a lush, quiet park near the center of the city. There, Maldonado explained how to order the pills online, through a Dutch NGO that provides them cheaply and safely. Maldonado told the woman how to take them, what to expect afterwards, and what symptoms might indicate that something had gone awry. She gave her a pamphlet with instructions and the number for a lawyer, just in case.


Ecuador – ‘Big step but not enough’: Ecuador debates easing abortion law in rape cases

'Big step but not enough': Ecuador debates easing abortion law in rape cases

Kimberley Brown
Mar 4, 2019

QUITO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Gabriela doesn’t remember when she was raped, because she was passed out when it happened.

The 27-year-old Ecuadorian psychology student had been taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills on a regular basis. One night, when staying at a friend’s house, she took the usual combination that “makes me not feel a thing,” she said.


Abortion Escorts in Ecuador are Breaking the Silence

Abortion Escorts in Ecuador are Breaking the Silence
August 3, 2017
by Kimberley Brown

Abortions are illegal in Ecuador—punishable by prison sentence and highly stigmatized. But this hasn’t stopped women from seeking them out. Instead, they go through the procedure clandestinely, under dubious circumstances and often completely alone. One group is trying to change that.

Las Comadres—which loosely translates as The Godmothers, or “a very close friend”—is a feminist group fighting back against the nation’s restrictive abortion laws. Members accompany women through their abortion procedures and provide them with medical and legal information. Last weekend, they ran their first national workshop walking women through the process.

The two-day abortion accompaniment workshop focused on these legal, medical and psychological issues women may face, and how to be prepared for them.

Continued at source: Ms. Magazine: