Target: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa
Goal: Decriminalize abortion in extreme cases to protect women.
Ecuador’s abortion ban prioritizes archaic ideals above the rights of women and girls and puts them at great physical and psychological risk. The ban criminalizes abortions even in cases of rape or incest and in cases of extreme fetal impairment. Such moratoriums also drive women to undergo dangerous and illegal abortion procedures at the hands of untrained profiteers, putting countless lives at risk. Add your name below to urge the Ecuadorian Government to reconsider its stance on abortion and put the lives of women first.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women urged Ecuador in February 2015 to decriminalize abortion in extreme cases, but has not yet seen any sign of change. The only exceptions to the nation’s criminal code are in the instance of possible death or physical injury to the woman as long as no other viable option exists, or in the case of rape when the potential mother is mentally disabled. For all other girls and women, an abortion may come with a two-year prison sentence, reports Human Rights Watch (HRW). Harsher punishments are handed down to those who perform the abortions.
The popularity of clandestine abortions leaves many women physically impaired and abortion has become the second leading cause of morbidity among Ecuadorian women as well as a significant factor in maternal mortality. HRW released a 2013 report documenting how the law impacted rape survivors and found that doctors were refusing safe abortions to women and girls as a result and denying post-abortion care to survivors as young as 12 for fear of legal backlash.
The National Assembly did vote in 2013 to amend Ecuador’s abortion law to better protect women with disabilities, showing hope for the progress of women’s rights, but much more needs to be done to protect the nation’s female population.
Sign this petition urging the Government of Ecuador to legalize abortions for rape victims ad women faced with unviable pregnancies.
Dear President Correa,
Ecuador’s abortion laws put archaic moral standpoints before the rights of women and their bodies and put the nation’s women and girls at risk. Criminalizing abortions in cases of rape, incest and severe fetal impairment drives many of the nation’s female citizens to seek dangerous abortions and them in fear of being penalized while seeking medical attention. Such an extreme moratorium also keeps trained health care practitioners from caring for women truly in need of care.
Ecuador’s women and girls do not deserve to suffer unnecessarily, especially when safe and simple alternatives are easy to implement.
I urge you to lift Ecuador’s abortion ban for extreme cases.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Johannes Jander via Flickr