Ecuador rejected on-going pressure to legalize abortions again last week when lawmakers voted against a bill allowing unborn babies to be aborted in cases of rape.

The Irish Catholic reports lawmakers in the National Assembly narrowly rejected the pro-abortion bill by five votes. If it had passed, it would have allowed abortions in all cases of rape and incest, as well as for non-viable fetal deformities and non-consensual artificial insemination.

Currently, the South American country protects unborn babies from abortion, except in very limited cases. Abortions are permitted if a woman with mental disabilities is raped or if the mother’s life is at risk.

Here’s more from the report:

Some legislators proposed that instead of decriminalising the abortion of children conceived in rape, rapists be given greater penalties.

Tens of thousands of Ecuadorians marched on the streets of Guayaquil in June to protest the bill, as well as to support marriage, conscience protections, and parental rights.

Archbishop Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus of Quito issued a statement saying, “abortion cannot be the answer that a civilised society gives to the pain and anguish of women, men, and their families. Talking about abortion as a solution is a painful irony…abortion cannot be a ‘solution’, it is a drama, a failure of every society.”

For years, powerful pro-abortion groups have been pressuring Ecuador and other pro-life countries to legalize the killing of unborn babies. In 2015, the United Nations urged Ecuador to legalize abortions as part of an anti-discrimination treaty. Human Rights Watch did as well, describing abortion restrictions as “cruel” and “degrading” in a letter to a top political official.

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Jonathan Abbamonte, of the Population Research Institute, wrote more about the situation earlier this year:

International and local pro-abortion organizations have long lobbied hard to legalize abortion in Ecuador. United Nations entities including UNICEF and the Human Rights Council (HRC), and U.N. treaty-based bodies including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Human Rights Committee (CCPR) have called on Ecuador in the past to legalize abortion. …

A majority of Ecuadorian citizens are firmly pro-life. A 2012 survey conducted by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) at Vanderbilt University found that a majority of Ecuadorians held that abortion is not justifiable in cases of health of the mother.[1] A 2014 LAPOP survey[2] later found that a slight majority of Ecuadorians believed abortion was justifiable when the mother’s health is endangered but a significant proportion of the population still maintained that abortion would be illicit under these circumstances.

Abbamonte said Ecuador is one of the most “staunchly” pro-life countries in South America. He said its constitution guarantees the right to life “from conception.”

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1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Decisions Legalized Abortion in the U.S. for theFull Nine Months of Pregnancy Prior to 1967, abortion was prohibited in all 50 states except when the mother’s life was in danger. Between 1967 and 1973, 18 states added further exceptions, mostly to allow abortion in cases of rape and incest, or for certain limited medical reasons, or on demand (New York). In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered two decisions, Roe v. Wade 1 and Doe v. Bolton 2 which, taken together, have allowed legal abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy in all 50 states. The two original decisions established legal abortion as follows: In the first three months of pregnancy, no one can interfere with a woman’s decision to abort her child. After the first three months, but before the “viability” of the unborn child, an individual state can enact laws to protect the health of the mother but cannot prohibit the abortion of the unborn child. After “viability” of the unborn child, an individual state can, if it chooses to do so, enact laws to protect the unborn child but abortion must be allowed if the life or “health” of the mother is at stake. The Supreme Court defined “health” as “the medical judgment that may be exercised in light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age –relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” 2 Consequently, the broad definition of “health” has made abortion legal up to the moment of birth.

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