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.
More and more laws are treating a fetus as a person, and a woman as less of one, as states charge pregnant women with crimes...
A Woman’s Rights
By The Editorial Board
Photographs by Damon Winter
DEC. 28, 2018
You might be surprised to learn that in the United States a woman coping with the heartbreak of losing her pregnancy might also find herself facing jail time. Say she got in a car accident in New York or gave birth to a stillborn in Indiana: In such cases, women have been charged with manslaughter.
In fact, a fetus need not die for the state to charge a pregnant woman with a crime. Women who fell down the stairs, who ate a poppy seed bagel and failed a drug test or who took legal drugs during pregnancy — drugs prescribed by their doctors — all have been accused of endangering their children.
An Irish woman in Argentina: Now, both my countries have voted for abortion
The decriminalisation of abortion in Argentina has been brought within striking distance
June 18, 2018
Sophie Parker in Buenos Aires
As Ireland took to the polls on May 25th, Argentina was celebrating May Revolution Day, commemorating the first successful revolution in South America’s Independence process. As I followed events across the ocean from my adopted home in Buenos Aires, I couldn’t help but think of Ireland’s Eighth Amendment referendum in terms of revolution: not exactly a “quiet” one, to use the Taoiseach’s word, but as part of a worldwide uprising that is increasingly difficult to drown out.
By the time the Eighth Amendment was repealed in Ireland, the debate in Argentina’s Congress on the decriminalisation of abortion was well under way. On June 14th, just before 10am, the streets around the Congress building erupted with roars of jubilation and relief as the nail-bitingly close result was revealed: the bill, first presented over a decade ago by the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion alliance, had passed.