Ecuadorian Parliament defines criminal reform that includes medical abortion and cannabis

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MONTEVIDEO (Sputnik) – The National Assembly (unicameral parliament) of Ecuador will begin voting on a reform of the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code (COIP) that includes the decriminalization of abortion in case of rape and the medicinal use of cannabis.

"There are issues (within the COIP) that generate consensus and others that generate concern in some sectors, for this reason, after having talked with the different banks we believe that it is fair that the issues that generate more concern (such as abortion) can be voted on separately so that they do not prevent the approval of the majority of the reform, "the president of the Justice Commission, Ximena Peña, of the ruling Alianza País, told the local television news program Telerema.

The legislator said that the "reform is quite broad and has quite positive issues such as citizen security, the fight against corruption, crimes against the sexual integrity of children and adolescents."

He explained that the issues that are going to be voted on separately are abortion not punishable in case of rape, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and the article that states that the face of those prosecuted for crimes in the media can be shown.
Currently, abortion is not punishable in two cases, established in article 150 of the COIP, when the life and health of women is at risk and in cases of rape a person suffering from mental disability.

The reform of article 150, which will be voted on September 17, according to Peña, includes the decriminalization of abortion for any pregnancy caused by a violation.

For these reforms to be approved, they need 70 votes from a total of 137 assembly members.

"Those issues that do not have 70 votes are not approved and those that have 70 votes are sent to the Executive so that the president can exercise his role as co-legislator as established by law," the assembly said.

Abortion

In the case of abortion, the legislator said "there are enough votes for approval."

Peña reported that 3,000 girls under 14 are raped annually in Ecuador.

"Abortion will continue to be penalized in Ecuador, what is proposed is a reform of article 150 of exceptional cases," he explained.

Assemblyman Fabricio Villamar clarified on his Twitter account that "tomorrow (September 17) the assembly will not vote" for abortion ", will be voted among others a reform to the criminal code so that if a woman who has been raped and she (no one else) decides to abort, do not be punished with prison, just that; if you disagree, do not abort! "

Peña said he will vote in favor of this modification.

"I think it is important to guarantee the right of decision, a victim of a rape cannot be judged as harshly as a person who carelessly got pregnant," the legislator argued.
Between 2013 and 2019, 435 women were prosecuted in Ecuador for having aborted, according to data from the State Attorney General's Office and the Judicial Council, cited by the feminist organization Surkuna.
That organization is calling through social networks to concentrate in front of the parliament with green scarves at 17:30 local time.

For its part, the Frente Joven Ecuador movement, which claims to be committed "to the promotion and maintenance of human rights", is against this modification.

On the website votvida.org they summon the undecided legislators to write under the title: "Ask assembly members not to legalize abortion."



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