Ecuador's high court backs decriminalizing abortion for rape

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape, a decision that paves the way for laws imposing prison sentences in such cases to be changed

QUITO, Ecuador -- Ecuador’s Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday in favor of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape, a decision that paves the way for laws imposing prison sentences in such cases to be changed.

The court’s judges voted 7-2 in favor of declaring two articles of the country’s penal code unconstitutional. The decision came in response to a petition from seven women’s, feminist and human rights groups.

The court now can demand the National Assembly reform the two articles or issue an order with deadlines and guidelines for its application.

Despite an order not to hold public gatherings, anti- and pro-abortion groups held demonstrations outside the Constitutional Court.