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2022 ended with good news for Ecuadorian women: the Constitutional Court suspended the validity of a law that required access to abortion in cases of rape.
The feminists managed to reverse part of President Guillermo Lasso's veto of the norm approved by the National Assembly to regulate the interruption of pregnancy when the woman has been a victim of abuse.
The Court also suspended the conscientious objection that doctors who refused to perform an abortion could appeal.
The Constitutional decision rendered null and void part of what was proposed by the president, who revictimized women and deepened the already traumatic experience of suffering sexual abuse.
The court responded to a guardianship filed by the organizations Magma, We will be the last, the Alliance for Human Rights and Surkuna, which have stood up to the president and have managed to advance the country in favor of women.
The cause of violation, one of the two allowed in Ecuador, was decriminalized in 2021, but in April of last year, Lasso vetoed the law and modified 97% of its content.
“He ended up being a Frankenstein,” says Ana Vera, a lawyer for the Surkuma organization.
The president deleted pregnant people (trans men, non-binary people) from the bill, reduced the number of weeks to access abortion (went from 18 to 12) and imposed a series of requirements, which ended up having direct effects on the lives of women.
According to Vera, until the beginning of November, of 16 requests for abortion due to rape, only five were performed.
The work of the women's and human rights organizations managed, with a precautionary measure, for the Court to suspend the requirement of a complaint, and in the case of minors, they will no longer need parental authorization to terminate their pregnancies.
“Many girls and adolescents are victims at home and the perpetrators are in their family environment, so it is not easy for them to denounce, much less for them to have an abortion,” says Vera.
According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census of Ecuador, at least three out of 10 women in that country have suffered sexual violence in their lives.
During the months that the law reformed by Lasso was in force, the majority of women who sought an abortion after being raped did not get it.
In many cases, despite the fact that they filed a complaint and were able to prove their complaints, the medical services conscientiously objected and refused to carry out the procedure.
The president of Ecuador has not hidden his conservative positions and his rejection of the interruption of pregnancy in any circumstance.
Lasso is a Catholic man, close to Opus Dei, who has put his beliefs above women's rights.
The journalist María Sol Borja remembers in this column of
The Washington Post
t, that in 2019, when the National Assembly was debating the possibility of lifting the criminalization of abortion in cases of rape, the pressure that the president exerted on legislators from his party was made public, who ended up changing their votes to prevent decriminalization.
"In the end, five votes were missing, three of them from CREO assembly members, Lasso's party, who had previously announced that they would vote in favor but, at the last minute, changed their minds."
Three years later, thanks to the struggle of women and the support of the Constitutional Court, the word of the victims is enough for them to have access to the right to abortion.
Our recommendations of the week:
Some data to start 2023 with optimism
In the list of positive news for the new year that the journalist Kiko Llaneras wrote, women scored the following data:
👩🔬 In Europe there are six times more female inventors.
The proportion of women among Europeans who patent has gone from 2% in 1978 to 13% today.
In Spain they are 23%.
👩💻 There are also more bosses.
Between 1990 and 2020, the proportion of women in management and middle management positions doubled, from 15% to 36%.
They are even more in Argentina (37%), Mexico (38%) or Chile (43%).
🥇 In 2021, for the first time, a woman refereed a men's World Cup match.
The French Stéphanie Frappart did it, who was also the first to referee in the Champions League.
Stephanie Frappart during the match between Costa Rica and Germany, in the World Cup in Qatar.
Georgi Licovski (EFE)