Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso partially vetoed an abortion bill last week, killing an attempt on the part of members of the National Assembly to establish abortion as a “human right.”
Pro-life activists say the bill was initially meant to create a narrow exception to the country’s stringent anti-abortion laws, but made the assertion that abortion was a “right” nearly two dozen times and could have compelled medical workers to violate their conscience.
The measure to override Lasso’s veto garnered a scant 17 votes before the president of the legislative body closed session, leaving it in place.
The move attracted international criticism from so-called “reproductive rights” activists, who Valerie Huber, the president of the Institute for Women’s Health, says work to promote abortion in foreign countries by promoting policy that establishes abortion as a “human right.”
“What we’re seeing in Ecuador is that the ‘international right’ to abortion is colonialism by another name,” she wrote in an op-ed earlier this month warning against Ecuador’s dangerous abortion bill.
The law was created “supposedly to just create a very narrow exception for abortion in matters of rape but in reviewing the law, it was pages and pages and pages of things that had absolutely nothing to do with that narrow exception,” she told The Christian Post after Lasso’s successful partial veto.
“More than 20 times, it asserted abortion as a human right. It removed all conscience protections for any kind of healthcare providers that would be called upon in that country to provide abortion against their consciences,” Huber, the former U.S. special representative for Global Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Trump, also said.
Groups like the American-based Human Rights Watch which campaigns globally for progressive pro-LGBT and “reproductive health” issues, denounced the news out of the majority-Catholic country.
HRW, for its part, argued that that abortion would remain strictly regulated on the basis that it interfered with “essential medical care.”
“Ecuador should remove all criminal penalties for consensual abortion,” the group’s women’s rights researcher said in a statement. “At a minimum, it should guarantee effective access to abortion on all legal grounds and stop prosecuting women and girls seeking essential medical care.”
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