Justa Libertad: A Movement to Decriminalize Abortion in Ecuador

The Green Wave Continues to Make Strides in Latin America

April 15, 2024
Cristina Quijano Carrasco, Researcher, Women's Rights - Human Rights Watch

Justa Libertad, an Ecuadorian coalition of eight civil society organizations, recently filed a lawsuit before the Constitutional Court of Ecuador seeking to decriminalize abortion. This crucial initiative seeks to ensure that women, girls, and other pregnant people can access safe abortion care. It follows similar coalitions that achieved progress in other Latin American countries like Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina.

Abortion is currently penalized in Ecuador with up to three years in prison, with exceptions for cases in which the pregnancy represents a risk to the life or health of the pregnant woman or, after a 2021 Constitutional Court ruling, when the pregnancy is the result of sexual violence. Even for cases that fit these narrow exceptions, accessing abortion care remains challenging due to stigma among health personnel and other institutions that hold the belief that once pregnant, women and girls are obligated to become mothers.

Continued:  https://www.hrw.org/news/2024/04/15/justa-libertad-movement-decriminalize-abortion-ecuador

Demonstrators across Latin America demand abortion rights

September 28, 2023

Americas Desk, Sep 28 (EFE).- The Day for Decriminalization and Legalization of Abortion drew demonstrations all over Latin America on Thursday to address a lack of protection in countries such as El Salvador, fear of losing rights in Argentina, intense political debates in Brazil and progress in Mexico.

In El Salvador, activists from the Feminist Assembly denounced the total criminalization of abortion as the “greatest expression of violence” against women, who can be accused of aggravated homicide and sentenced to 30 years in prison, even in cases of miscarriage.

Continued : https://www.laprensalatina.com/demonstrators-across-latin-america-demand-abortion-rights/

Abortion rights activists in the US can learn from recent progress on abortion access in Latin America

Analysis by Stefano Pozzebon, CNN
 Sat May 7, 2022

Bogota, Colombia (CNN)The prospect of the United States overturning decades of abortion rights, which materialized this week in a leaked draft opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, triggered shock waves in many countries in Latin America, where many feminist organizations have often looked at the US as a model of greater reproductive rights and freedoms.

However, that model has flipped on its head in recent years. Just as several US states have put in place further barriers to abortion access through various restrictions, some countries in Latin America have moved in the other direction, with a growing number of countries liberalizing such laws.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/07/americas/abortion-analysis-latin-america-activists-intl-latam/index.html

Ecuador’s Lasso seeks rule changes over limits for abortion in rape cases

Reporting by Alexandra Valencia and Oliver Griffin. Writing by Oliver Griffin. Editing by Gerry Doyle
Reuters, March 15, 2022

QUITO, March 15 (Reuters) - Ecuador's president, Guillermo Lasso, a conservative former banker, on Tuesday said he would propose tightening time limits for abortion in cases of rape after new rules were approved by the South American country's National Assembly in February.

Last month Ecuadorian politicians voted to approve rules permitting abortion for pregnancies arising from rape until 12 weeks' gestation, or up to 18 weeks for adult women belonging to indigenous groups or who live in rural areas.

Continued: https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-03-15/ecuadors-lasso-seeks-rule-changes-over-limits-for-abortion-in-rape-cases

Ecuador Should Ensure Abortion Access in Rape Cases

February 17, 2022
Ximena Casas, Researcher, Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

Lucía was 15 when a stranger raped her as she walked home from school. The rape resulted in a pregnancy and in June 2015 Lucia gave birth alone in the bathroom of her home, where the baby died. She was convicted of homicide and sentenced to five years in prison. She spent four years and three months in a juvenile facility.

A bill is before the National Assembly that will guarantee effective access to abortion in cases of rape, and passing it should be a priority. The final bill should not include practical barriers to accessing care such as gestational limits and reporting requirements. The bill should regulate conscientious objection to prevent it from hindering timely abortion access and require health personnel to protect patient confidentiality.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/02/17/ecuador-should-ensure-abortion-access-rape-cases

Ecuador legislators approve regulations allowing abortion in cases of rape

The new measure allows abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy for urban adult women and 16 weeks for rural minors and adults

By Alexandra Valencia
Thu 17 Feb 2022

QUITO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Ecuador's National Assembly on Thursday approved regulations to allow women and girls access to abortions in cases of rape, amid widespread debate about the issue in the mostly conservative country.

The vote comes after the Constitutional Court gave the green light for abortion in cases of rape last April and ordered legislators to speedily regulate the procedure.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/ecuador-legislature-approves-rules-abortion-cases-rape-2022-02-17/

Ecuador: An historic achievement to advance access to abortion

by Paulina Ponce, Program Officer, Planned Parenthood Global
8 September 2021
CWRSA Blog (republished by International Campaign for Safe Abortion)

Over the past five years, Ecuador has seen marked change. For the first time in the country’s history, Ecuador’s legislature supported an earnest and public debate on the importance of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape during the criminal code reforms in 2019, and shortly thereafter, Ecuador’s highest court ruled that to criminalize abortion in cases of rape was unconstitutional.

This life-changing court ruling opens up the possibility for all women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence to freely access an abortion, if they choose, and marks a milestone in the fight for access to legal abortion in Ecuador. Even more importantly, women’s organizations prompted a shift in the way abortion is discussed in the media, what we call the “social destigmatization” of the right to choose.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/8-sept-2021?e=372dd34034

Momentous revolution of women’s rights in Ecuador: An unceasing strive for liberation of abortion laws

Varshunn Bhan Miskeen & Aditya Pandey
August 7, 2021

With the Constitutional Court of Ecuador passing the verdict of decriminalizing abortion in all instances of rape, Ecuador has joined the group of countries who have decriminalized abortion in selective cases. The passing of this verdict has allowed the Ecuadorian women who had been raped and wanted abortion, to no longer be penalised for their actions. The judges of the Ecuador Constitutional Court had decriminalized the two articles with the ratio of 7 against 2 in favour of the verdict. Before, the law only allowed for this procedure only in the instance of critical risk to woman’s health or if a raped woman had a mental disability. Abortion under the two selective conditions has been legal since 1938.

Continued:  https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/legally-speaking/momentous-revolution-womens-rights-ecuador-unceasing-strive-liberation-abortion-laws

Ecuador at critical crossroads in push for abortion rights

In the largely conservative nation, women can be sentenced to up to two years in prison for having an abortion.

By Natalie Alcoba
20 Jul 2021

Ana Cristina Vera could tell countless stories of women she has helped extricate from the jaws of Ecuador’s severe anti-abortion laws, but the lawyer and feminist organiser always starts with one: Carla’s.

In 2014, on her way to work in the city of Esmeraldes, Carla – a name Vera, her lawyer, uses to protect her identity – fell down a set of stairs. She picked herself up, only to later discover that she was bleeding. She assumed it was her period, which was two weeks late, and got medication from a friend for the pain, Vera told Al Jazeera.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/20/ecuador-at-critical-crossroads-in-push-for-abortion-rights

Ecuador: Criminalizing Abortion Affects Rights, Health

Greatest Harm for Indigenous, Afro-Descendent People Living in Poverty

July 14, 2021
Human Rights Watch

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s laws
criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of
women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer Again?’ The Impact of
Abortion Prosecutions in Ecuador” documents how these laws are having
widespread harmful consequences in Ecuador, costing lives through increased
maternal mortality and morbidity, cutting women and girls off from essential
services, and undermining broader efforts to promote sexual and reproductive
health. Women and girls charged with abortion often experience violations of
their rights to medical confidentiality and due process, and face significant
obstacles to accessing quality legal representation. The prosecutions affect
not only women who wish to end an unwanted pregnancy but also those who
experience miscarriages or obstetric emergencies, or urgently require
post-abortion care.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/14/ecuador-criminalizing-abortion-affects-rights-health