The second debate on the bill that guarantees the interruption of pregnancy due to rape caused a “bargaining” of the weeks of gestation in which girls, adolescents and women would be allowed to have an abortion.
During a prolonged debate, the legislators proposed that the interruption of pregnancy due to rape could occur in terms of up to 6, 12, 20 and 22 weeks of gestation, but there were also proposals that no time limits should be established. Everything will depend on which option achieves 70 votes for approval.
The controversy over this bill that guarantees the voluntary interruption of pregnancy for girls, adolescents and women in the event of rape focuses on time and there are antagonistic positions that distance consensus. That will require the Legislature at least one more week to find a text that can guarantee an absolute majority in plenary.
What will be the maximum gestation period to allow abortion in cases of rape in Ecuador: the National Assembly defines it
The debate on the project was colored by a day of protest by the pro-life and pro-abortion groups that reached the main street of the Legislative Palace, where dressed in posters, green and light blue handkerchiefs, flags and drums, they spoke out for the text submitted for debate in the full. They also activated campaigns on social networks.
Some legislators wore green garments and others white with phrases alluding to the topic of debate that began at 10:15 and without defined positions in the five political forces that act in Parliament, since four of them resolved to free from partisan discipline to its assembly members for the debate and voting of the project.
The session advanced until 6:30 p.m., when the legislator Moreira asked the president of the National Assembly, Guadalupe Llori, eight days to collect the observations and present the final text before the vote. Llori declared the debate closed and said that she will wait for the final report presented by the Justice Commission to put it to a vote.
Deadlines for abortion
The legislator rapporteur for the project, Johanna Moreira (ID), reported that the majority report, which she defends, makes a differentiation of terms that range from 22 weeks of gestation for girls under 18 years of age and up to 20 weeks of gestation for women of legal age, without this being discriminatory, but rather in accordance with the need for priority attention.
He asked the court that “please” the law should not contain a period of less than 22 weeks of gestation, since in his opinion the girls are unaware that they are pregnant, even more so the girls with limited resources who live a different reality.
He presented a motion to divide the vote into two parts and separate the text of article 19 of the project, which is related to temporality.
Instead, the Pachakutik (PK) legislator, Ricardo Vanegas, considered that the debate should not focus on the number of weeks of gestation in which the procedure can be done, but also on drastic sanctions such as life imprisonment for the rapist.
That establishing deadlines to kill a living being is not subject to negotiation, he warned, although the legislator presented a minority report proposing a maximum term for the interruption of pregnancy of twelve weeks of gestation for girls and adolescents, and six weeks for women over 18 years of age.
The representative of Los Ríos, Vanessa Freire (formerly of UNES), warned the room that establishing more than 20 weeks of gestation for the interruption of pregnancy is a crime, because according to medical and scientific criteria, at 23 weeks, a live birth has a chance of living. , I note.
But he suggested that in all cases, without discrimination, the interruption of pregnancy should be performed up to twelve weeks applying pharmacological and surgical methods, considering the risks for the girl and adolescent.
From the Christian Social sector, legislators Geraldine Weber and Esteban Torres proclaimed themselves defenders of life and announced that they do not agree with the two majority or minority reports.
Torres indicated that there are no votes for the majority bill, and stated that they should not consider it in the haggling of weeks, that they should not place it in the debate if it is 28, 22, 16 or 12 weeks, because “I do not have the decision to say when the life of a human being is going to end, take it yourself, do not count on that negotiation with me, ”he noted.
The legislator of the Union for Hope (UNES) Paola Cabezas questioned that those who speak of the defense of life do nothing but continue to deny the death in life experienced by those girls who have been raped by their grandparents, cousins, brothers and parents. , and who go to clandestine centers to have an abortion.
He stated that the discussion of the term must be more in-depth, taking into account the inter-exceptionality criteria, that when setting deadlines a differentiation must be made between girls up to 14 years of age, girls between 14 and 18 years of age and those over 18 years of age .
Her co-idea Victoria Desintonio also spoke that the interruption of pregnancy should not be temporary, since abortion is already decriminalized in Ecuador.
From the same caucus, Assemblywoman Sofía Espín described the lightness with which the Justice Commission dropped from nine months to five and a half weeks of gestation from one day to the next to allow abortion for rape in girls and adolescents. Today, she said, another temporary period of up to 22 weeks is proposed for girls and adolescents, and 20 weeks for women over 18 years of age. All this is really due to technical and scientific criteria of health professionals, she asked.
Espín questioned that the majority report does not consider the protection of the unborn, then, what is the appropriate balance that the Court’s ruling speaks of and with what technical criteria should the interruption of pregnancy be regulated, he asked.
That by proposing that abortion occurs up to 22 weeks of gestation, affirmed the representative of Guayas, it is interrupting the life of a human being, when this is already viable because it is an immature birth according to what the obstetricians of Ecuador say.
Also her co-idearia, Pierina Correa, spoke that abortion is not a right, that abortion is death and does not interrupt it but ends the pregnancy.
The representative of CREO Nathalie Arias proposed to the room that up to twelve weeks of gestation be established as the maximum term for the interruption of pregnancy for girls and adolescents under 14 years of age, and six weeks for those over 14 years of age; because after six weeks the first heartbeat occurs, and after twelve weeks the fetus feels pain, she assured.
The ruling party specified that after having examined the two reports presented on this matter, the minority report is much closer to the trend and what the Constitutional Court actually has, therefore, that is the starting point that the plenary session for a responsible discussion on the subject. (I)
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