Ecuador abortion: President Correa threatens to resign

Catholic procession in Quito More than 80% of the population in Ecuador is Roman Catholic, according to the latest census

Related Stories

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has said he will resign if the National Assembly decriminalises abortion as part of a reform of the Penal Code.

Mr Correa, whose term ends in 2017, described himself as a "left-wing, humanist, Roman Catholic".

He said members of his own governing alliance have been pushing for the change.

"They can do whatever they want. I will never approve the decriminalisation of abortion," he said.

Mr Correa has accused many members of his governing bloc of betraying him and trying to push their own agenda by stealth.

Rafael Correa during visit to Boliva, 3 Oct 13 Rafael Correa was elected earlier this year to an unprecedented third term

"It has cost me more, the betrayals of my own supposed friends, than the acts of my enemies."

"If these acts of betrayal and disloyalty go on, I will tender my resignation," said Mr Correa.

Mr Correa, an economist trained in the United States, first came into power in 2007. He was elected to a third term in February.

He is part of a new wave of left-wing leaders that came into power in Latin America in the last 15 years, following the electoral success of the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.

Mr Correa has criticised "American imperialism" in the region and in August 2012 offered political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

More recently, Mr Correa has offered asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden, former contractor at the US National Security Agency.

The opposition has accused him of attempting to stifle debate and control the media.

A new media law was approved earlier this year by an overwhelming majority at the National Assembly, where Mr Correa's Alianza Pais party has nearly three-quarters of the 137 seats.

Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy, 2012 Julian Assange has been holed up inside the Ecuadorean embassy in the UK for over a year, waiting for safe passage to Quito

The Assembly is now on the second and final stage of debates into changes to the Penal Code.

Among the proposals being examined are tougher prison sentences, of up to 40 years, and specific legislation to deal with crimes against women.

Mr Correa said its members were fully aware of his personal and his party's pro-life stance.

"Where do we say we should decriminalise abortion? On the contrary, our constitution pledges to defend life from the moment of conception," Mr Correa said in an television interview broadcast on Thursday evening.

The death penalty and life sentences are also banned by the South American country's constitution.

Abortion is totally banned or highly restricted in most Latin American countries.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features

  • NS Savannah, 1962Nuclear dream

    The ship that totally failed to change the world


  • Espresso cup7 days quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Glasgow 2014 quaichs and medalsQuaich guide

    What do the Scottish gifts given to Games medallists symbolise?


  • Malaysian plane wreckage in UkraineFlight risk

    How odd is it for three planes to crash in eight days?


  • israel flagDos and don'ts

    Can you criticise Israel without being anti-Semitic?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.