Karen Toro

Freelance photographer
     
Yes, it is law!
Location: Quito, Ecuador
Nationality: Ecuadorian
Biography: Quito, 1990. My work in the artistic and photographic field is related to issues of human rights, migration, education and gender. My labour is based on the belief in the social importance of photography as a way to relate, make visible and... MORE
Public Story
Yes, it is law!
Copyright Karen Toro 2023
Date of Work Apr 2021 - Ongoing
Updated May 2021
Location Quito, Ecuador
Topics Abortion, Activism, Documentary, Ecuador, Editorial, Human Rights, Photography, Photojournalism, Womens Rights


According to the Constitution, Ecuador is a secular state, but the individual rights of women are still limited based on religious morality. In Ecuador, a 1938 Penal Code was maintained, which allowed non-punishable abortion if the pregnancy represented a risk to the health or life of a woman and only when it was a case of rape of an "insane or an idiot woman".
In this context, statistics show that more than 2000 girls a year become pregnant after rape; that is to say that girls and women pregnant as a result of rape were forced into motherhood and if they had an abortion they were being criminalized. For several years the feminist movement has grown in Ecuador and the petition for the right to abortion is their demand for justice in a secular democracy, considering it as a matter of human rights, public health and above all a matter of basic freedoms for women.
Despite the constant harassment of anti-rights groups, called "pro-life", which are financed by the church and led mainly by men, social and women's organizations have filed several lawsuits to reverse this situation. On April 29, 2021 the ruling decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape for any girl or woman was made official.
Now the challenge is to enforce and create a legal framework and protocols to ensure access to safe and free abortions, as well as care and support for women and girls who have become pregnant after rape.
This story accompanied Karol Noroña's report in La Periódica: Yes, it's law!
Según la Constitución, Ecuador es un Estado laico, pero los derechos individuales de las mujeres siguen estando limitados en función de la moral religiosa. En Ecuador se mantiene un Código Penal de 1938 que permite el aborto no punible si el embarazo representa un riesgo para la salud o la vida de la mujer y sólo cuando se trata de un caso de violación de una "mujer demente o idiota".
En este contexto, las estadísticas muestran que más de 2.000 niñas al año se quedan embarazadas tras una violación; es decir, que las niñas y mujeres embarazadas como consecuencia de una violación se veían obligadas a ser madres y si abortaban se las criminalizaba. Desde hace varios años el movimiento feminista ha crecido en Ecuador y la petición del derecho al aborto es su demanda de justicia en una democracia laica, considerándolo como un asunto de derechos humanos, de salud pública y sobre todo de libertades básicas para las mujeres.
A pesar del constante acoso de los grupos antiderechos, llamados "provida", financiados por la iglesia y liderados principalmente por hombres, las organizaciones sociales y de mujeres han presentado varias demandas para revertir esta situación. El 29 de abril de 2021 se oficializó la sentencia que despenaliza el aborto en casos de violación para cualquier niña o mujer.
Ahora el reto es aplicar y crear un marco legal y protocolos que garanticen el acceso a abortos seguros y gratuitos, así como la atención y apoyo a las mujeres y niñas que se han quedado embarazadas tras una violación.
Esta historia acompañó el reportaje de Karol Noroña en
La Periódica: Sí, ¡es ley!
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