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The head of the Human rights group identified as Ombudsman Freddy Carrion yesterday announced the court’s decision on Twitter, saying the ruling ‘was possible thanks to the women and feminist groups who have consistently battled for a more fair and egalitarian society.’
Before now, Ecuador which is a conservative country with an 80 percent Catholic population, a woman risks up to three years in prison for having an abortion.
The procedure is only allowed when a woman’s life or health is at risk or if a pregnancy is the result of the rape of a woman with a mental disability.
In 2019, the National Assembly had voted against decriminalizing abortion in other cases of rape or fetal malformation.
Carrion’s office said the court’s decision was taken with seven votes to two.
‘From today, no raped woman will be criminalized,’ it said.
Every day six girls have an abortion in Ecuador, according to figures from the ombudsman’s office.
Among those under the age of 14, 80 percent of pregnancies are due to sexual violence.
Some 2,500 girls under the age of 14 give birth each year in Ecuador after they were raped, according to local feminist groups.
President-elect Guillermo Lasso, a conservative Catholic and vocal pro-life advocate who takes office on May 24, said he has ‘full respect‘ for the court’s ruling.
‘The independence of the government branches and the secular nature of the state are principles that cannot be negotiated,’ he said in a statement.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK