Ecuador: Abortion Issues for victims of violent sexual crimes

Posted on August 24, 2013 • Filed under: Crime, Ecuador, Latin America Health, Latin America Womens Issues

Ecuador’s restrictive abortion laws put the health and even the lives of rape victims in danger, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In late August 2013 the National Assembly is expected to debate major changes to the criminal code. It is unclear whether a proposal from a 2012 assembly discussion of lifting penalties for abortion in all rape cases will move forward in the 2013 debates.
The 26-page report, “Rape Victims As Criminals: Illegal Abortion after Rape in Ecuador”, found that Ecuador’s criminal code limits women’s and girls’ reproductive rights by prohibiting abortion with few exceptions, even in the case of pregnancies that result from sexual violence. The criminal code imposes penalties including prison terms ranging from one to five years for women and girls who obtain abortions. Medical professionals who provide them are subject to harsher penalties. These penalties drive some women and girls to have illegal and unsafe abortions, thwarting Ecuador’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality and injury. Read Article

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