- Title: Anger in Ecuador after lawmakers reject easing abortion law in rape cases
- Date: 18th September 2019
- Summary: QUITO, ECUADOR (SEPTEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** FEMALE PROTESTERS IN FAVOUR OF LEGALISED ABORTION TRYING TO BRING DOWN BARRICADE FOLLOWING A MOTION ON ABORTION BEING VOTED DOWN / POLICE USING SPRAY ON PROTESTERS PROTESTERS CHANTING AGAINST AUTHORITIES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PROTESTER IN FAVOUR OF LEGALISED ABORTION, ANA CRISTINA VERA, SAYING: "What we want is Ecuador to dress as if it's in mourning. Torture as state policy has been upheld. Girls and women in the country, victims of sexual violence, are systematically tortured, forced into a motherhood that they don't want, forced to have no choice, to not be respected as people with human dignity. We believe that today is a historic day, a black day, with the blood of girls and women who have been condemned to hiding, to death, to jail, to torture. Forced motherhood is nothing but torture for women and girls." PROTESTERS FOR LEGALISED ABORTION HOLDING UP STICKS WITH FIRE QUITO, ECUADOR (SEPTEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN SESSION FOR VOTING ON ABORTION MOTION VARIOUS OF 'NO' ON MONITOR OF LAWMAKERS WHO ARE AGAINST MOTION LAWMAKERS APPLAUDING AFTER VOTE CATHOLIC FAITHFUL HOLDING UP PLACARDS THAT READ (Spanish): "FOR LIFE" VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS AGAINST LEGALISED ABORTION AT RALLY QUITO, ECUADOR (SEPTEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PROTESTER AGAINST LEGALISED ABORTION, PAMELA ENRIQUEZ, SAYING: "The rights that we have need to be respected, that the love and values of our parents, of our ancestors be respected, of a love for life, of a love for the basic respect for life." RELIGIOUS IMAGERY AT PROTEST AGAINST LEGALISED ABORTION POLICE ON DUTY AT PROTEST
- Embargoed: 2nd October 2019 04:25
- Keywords: national assembly Ecuador women legalised abortion rape Quito vote protest lawmakers
- Location: QUITO, ECUADOR
- City: QUITO, ECUADOR
- Country: Ecuador
- Topics: Society/Social Issues,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001AX6OU2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:There were scenes of anger on the streets of Quito on Tuesday (September 17) as pro-abortion protesters clashed with police after Ecuadorian lawmakers voted down a motion that would have eased abortion laws in rape cases.
Abortions are illegal in Ecuador, except under two circumstances: If the life of the pregnant woman is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of the rape of a woman with mental disabilities.
In January, Ecuador's national assembly began to debate a bill on decriminalising abortion in cases of rape, incest and forced artificial insemination.
On Tuesday, the motion was shut down with just 65 lawmakers in favour, just short of five votes needed for it to pass and reflected the deep divisions in the country over the issue.
Ecuador's current abortion laws have been in place since 1938. The last time the country debated easing abortion laws in cases of rape was in 2013 when the assembly voted against it.
The reforms have been strongly opposed by the influential Roman Catholic Church and more conservative members of the assembly.
Many of their arguments focus on increasing penalties for rapists, instead of easing access to abortion.
But supporters of the abortion reforms have focused on Ecuador's twin epidemics of rapes of girls and underage pregnancies.
Women's rights groups argue that the outlawing of abortion affects working class women the most. Poorer women are forced to seek out backstreet abortions which can lead to complications, infections and death.
Unsafe abortions accounted for 15.6 percent of all deaths in Ecuador in 2014, the fifth biggest cause of mortality for women and the third largest cause of maternal deaths, said the Ministry of Health in a study released in 2017.
(Production: Cristina Munoz)
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