October 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Turning back massive pressure from the United Nations and well-funded international “human rights” groups, the president of Ecuador has turned back an effort to liberalize abortion laws.
Rafael Correa threatened to resign his post if the National Assembly passed a proposed law seeking to amend Ecuador’s Criminal Code. The law would permit abortion for all women who claim they were raped. Ecuadorian law permits abortion until birth when the life or health of the mother are at risk, or in cases of rape for mentally handicapped women.
Last Thursday, the president told Quito news service “I will present my resignation” if members of his own party persist in such “disloyalties.”
“I am tired of this,” Correa said. “They talk about democracy and then do the opposite and try to seize any opportunity.”
“I personally am against abortion,” he continued. “Whenever we’ve consulted the citizens regarding abortion, the immense majority rejects prenatal euthanasia.”
The president also noted that the Ecuadorian Constitution defends life from conception.
“They can do whatever they want. I will never approve the decriminalization of abortion,” he concluded.
Congresswoman Paola Pabón, who had initially proposed the measure to allow abortion in the case of rape, withdrew the motion the followign day, last Friday.
“With the great affection we have for you, we tell you that this time you’re making a mistake,” she said to the president. “But on behalf of the unity of my 100 congressional colleagues, I withdraw my motion so that this block may not present any rupture,” she concluded.
Ecuador is being heavily pressured to legalize abortion.
After president Correa had made his position clear, Human Rights Watch’s Americas division sent a letter to the National Assembly urging them to modify Ecuador’s current Criminal Code. HRW claimed its criminalizing “offenses of abortion” was undermining the “basic rights of the people of Ecuador.”
HRW also published a dispatch on its website a few days before the abortion debate took place titled, “Why is Ecuador Treating Rape Victims Like Criminals?”
Last month, Heather Sayette, regional director with the Latin America office of Planned Parenthood Global, published an article claiming that “now and always, rape survivors and all women in Ecuador and around the world deserve access to comprehensive health services, including abortion if requested.”
Last year, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) recommended that the government of Ecuador “amend its Criminal Code so as to establish that abortion is not an offense if the pregnancy is the result of rape, regardless of whether or not the woman in question has a disability, or if the existence of congenital anomalies has been established.”
However, President Correa has strongly resisted such pressure. One of his government slogans is “Ecuador, love life.”
In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews.com, María Augusta Teale from Mision Provida (Pro-Life Mission), explained how she was astounded with “the abusive intervention of Planned Parenthood” in “promoting an internet campaign calling the Ecuadorian Criminal Code archaic and out of fashion.”
“I ask myself, isn’t it really archaic to promote the death of innocents and call it 'women’s rights'?” she asked.
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“Well done Mr. President,” she said. “Ecuador loves life, and you have demonstrated it!”
To contact President Correa, click here, or write to him on twitter at @mashirafael