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Ecuador: Abortion a Controversial Topic in New Constitution

With a little more than one month until the Constitutional Referendum in Ecuador, the campaign has intensified, especially on the internet. Both the “pelucones” (the nickname given to the opposition) and the supporters are finding their arguments and their reasons why to support or oppose the draft Constitution. More attention is being given to the support or opposition within the universities.

Alianza Pais (Correa's political party) is more interested in winning sympathizers inside local universities in order to alleviate the discontent among university students. A group of students from the Catholic University of Guayaquil has expressed their opposition to the new Constitution, which produced a music video with this sentiment. “Yo también digo no” (I also say no), is a post written by La Alharaca [es] and refers to a musical video with a theme song in which criticize to the “pelucones” and makes mockery of presidential remarks to silence demonstrators at the Catholic University of Santiago of Guayaquil (Santiago is a surname people of Guayaquil feel proud of and that was the original name of the Guayas province).

The Catholic University Votes ‘No’ – Theme: I want to be the ward's pelucon

However, one of the most controversial topics in the new Constitution is abortion and the right to choose by women in Ecuador. Don Javier [es] compares the section regarding Families in different Ecuadorian constitutions, such as the 1979 and 1998 versions, including all their various reforms, stresses why he will be voting YES in the referendum of September 28th.

Según veo desde 1979 nadie nunca lo oí pegar el grito al cielo diciendo que eran constituciones abortivas o que permitían el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo. Ni oí a ninguno de esos curas de Mercedez Benz y tenedores de deuda externa decir que estas constituciones protegían el aborto….Yo Voto SI y mil veces SI.

As I see it that ever since 1979 I never heard the heavens crying out that Constitution was pro-abortion of that it allowed same-sex marriages. I have not also heard from those priests with Mercedez Benz and the holders of the foreign debt that have Constitutions what protect abortion… I vote YES and a thousand times YES.

Kevinhurl [es] writes about a long online debate with his friend, who supports the NO in the next electoral process in Ecuador, and points out intentions of Antonio Arregui Yarza (President of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference) and strongly makes his point that the Constitution to be submitted into referendum does not establish the right of any women to abort:

El derecho de la madre a abortar se termina donde empieza el derecho del niño a vivir: desde la concepción, ya que el artículo 46 dice claramente que El Estado reconocerá y garantizara la vida, incluido el cuidado y protección desde la concepción. En ninguna parte dice que se podrá abortar en ejercicio de un derecho, ya que en ningún lado está estipulado el derecho a abortar.

The mother's right to abort ends where the child's right to life begins: from conception, since Article 46 clearly states that the State recognizes and guarantees life, including the care and protection from conception itself. Nowhere has it been said that the abortion is a right, and nowhere is it stipulated that there is a right to an abortion.

In a deeply religious country like Ecuador, this topic will continue to be a topic of controversy up until the date of the Referendum.

Thumbnail photo by L. Marcio Ramalho

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