Reforms to the Penal Code analyzes non-punishable abortion
The Legislative debates 14 amendments to the Criminal Code. The president of the Justice Commission considers that other additional changes will be proposed in the second debate.
Abortion not punishable by rape, rape and insemination without consent, as well as malformation of the fetus, is one of the issues that focuses the attention of the Assembly. The Legislature started the year with the first debate on the reforms to the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code (COIP).
The Justice Commission, which analyzed the changes since 2015, proposed the non-sanction of abortion in cases of rape and severe malformation of the fetus.
Marcela Aguiñaga, president of the legislative table, said that the objective is for legislators to debate in a “broad and plural” manner on the issue that recognized that “it is not simple”. Aguiñaga said that the Ministry of Health estimates that 15.6% of maternal deaths are related to abortions at risk sites.
In this way, the problem occupies the fourth place of the causes of deaths and the third of maternal deaths in the country. Aguiñaga believes that this issue, which still needs to be debated, will allow “avoid re-victimization and death by going to places of risk.”
Without doubt, she added, “the analysis is complex in a constitutional manner because there are rights that must also be analyzed, such as the protection of life before conception.”
Assemblywoman Wilma Andrade (Democratic Left) pointed out that reforms to the COIP should be debated in a serious and “non-dogmatic” manner. In her opinion, this is a matter of “public health, we cannot turn our backs on a lacerating social reality”.
According to Andrade, the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) indicates that one in four women was raped. In this way, 120,000 girls are mothers forced by rape.
Assemblyman Franklin Samaniego, vice president of the commission, said that the reforms include the criteria of 75 bills, where abortion is one of the 14 topics of analysis.
Criteria for and against
Pro-life Groups and feminist groups went to the National Assembly.
“If the Pope were a woman, abortion would be law,” Mariana Sánchez shouted.
The young woman said that one of her best friends, who was raped by a cousin, died of being a victim of a clandestine abortion.
Ana Cristina Vera, member of the collective “Vivas Nos Queremos” (we want us alive), pointed out that there are power relations in cases of rape of girls under 14 years of age. She recalled that these problems affect the victims in their life, physical, mental and emotional health projects. “Maternal death in a girl under the age of 14 is four times greater than an adult woman.”
Roberto Gómez Valdiviezo, from the collective “Say yes to life and not to drugs”, pointed out that abortion in cases of rape “goes against the law and the commandments of God that they say you will not kill”.
For the member of the Provida (pro-life) organization, “a baby in the mother’s womb should be protected; it is the rapist who must pay for the broken dishes and not the baby”
Assemblywoman Andrade questioned those who oppose rape abortion. “What have they done with 870 girls, under 10 years of age, who gave birth without their consent?” she said.
This criterion shared Franklin Valdivieso, vice president of the Justice Commission, who believes that this problem must be analyzed thoroughly to avoid the impact of rights.
Cannabis and other changes
Another of the reforms in the Comprehensive Organic Code is the inclusion of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Elio Peña, Assemblyman for Pachakutik, said that the use and commercialization of cannabis for therapeutic purposes should be analyzed.
According to Aguiñaga, in the second debate new reforms will be included, including transit crimes. It is also foreseen that violence against women is not a violation, but a crime. (I)