The Decriminalization Of Abortion In Ecuador For Victims Of Rape

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The decriminalization of abortion in Ecuador for victims of rape


In ancient times, the concept of abortion had different positions throughout history, where it was accepted or rejected by some cultures. The primitive peoples, whose hierarchical system was the patriarchy, considered that the woman was an object, so it could be sold, and in some cases the children could be killed, even before birth, since these were fruits of the womanAnd this in turn was the property of man, thus having the right to decide on the same.


In 1500 to.c., In ancient Egypt, the Ebers papyrus was written, which describes recipes based on fruits, honey and vegetables to interrupt a pregnancy. Greece, meanwhile, considered practice as a normal procedure, which was allowed in cases of incest, family limitation or when parents had a very advanced age. Even during the second century, there was already talk of therapeutic abortion, for cases where gestation endangered the life of the pregnant woman, the fetus was not considered a being formed.

In Rome, until the beginning of the third century, abortion was not considered a crime, on the contrary it was a normal process in all social classes, and of the exclusive decision of women, where man had no right to comment. However, there were other positions that valued women, exclusively for fertility, because their function was to procreate, if this did not happen it was blamed by the Romans and considered a cause of divorce, so that abortion was considered aviolation of the right to property of the father.

In the Hebrew world, abortion was considered a horror and sin, since fertility was a blessing of God, and for them his vision of life was to populate the earth. In several archaeological excavations in China, India and Persia, rudimentary surgical instruments have been found to practice abortions. As in other ancient cultures, in the pre -Columbian era in America, pregnancy was interrupted, through medicinal herbs preparations.

With the arrival of Christianity, the Church, had a very radical and critical position on abortion, severely punishing practice. In the year 1588, the Catholic Church, reasses the concept of the body by the soul, arguing that fetal life is sacred at all times, a position that today maintains.

At present, the different perceptions of abortion are appreciated, greatly influenced by religion and culture, on the one hand are the countries where practice is prohibited totally or with exceptions, and in the other, those where it can be interrupted bysimple request for women.

In Ecuador, legislation in the field underwent various changes, with different perspectives according to the time. The first Criminal Code of 1837, established for the first time abortion, as a figure within the crimes against individuals, whose purpose of protection was the life to be born. The penalties contemplated were only for medical professionals, apothecaries or midwives to carry out an abortion or induced to do it. This code emphasizes whether or not women give consent, to impose the time of the sanction.

For its part, in 1872, the second Criminal Code is issued, whose highly religious and conservative position will define the bases of the penalties of this practice in the future of the nation. Abortion was seen as a crime to the order of morals and family, being the woman sanctioned in the case of committing it, except those that were made to maintain the honor, where the penalty was attenuated.


This position was maintained until 1938, the fourth Criminal Code makes true changes, whose purpose of protection is life, allowing abortions to be carried out in cases of risk to the woman’s health and life and in cases of rape of a woman withMental disability. For 2014, a new code is created, which is in force today, and has maintained the same guidelines as its predecessor, without substantive changes and with minimal modifications in the use of terms. 

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