“Life has won! They didn’t have enough votes! Thanks be to God!” ~ HLI’s Nancy Tosi of Ecuador
The National Assembly of Ecuador has defeated a measure to expand abortion. A majority of 70 was required (or a vote 70-67). In round one of the voting, the vote was 69, one vote short of a pro-abortion victory. In an unusual step, a second round of voting was encouraged. In the end, 65 voted in favor, 59 against with 6 abstentions. HLI’s Nancy Tosi, Ecuadorian native and Latin American Advisor from Cuenca broke the news late last evening at HLI headquarters. One of the abstaining Catholic representatives was conflicted but, following a conversation with Nancy Tosi, determined to abstain from the vote in the second round after voting for abortion in round one. In abstaining, she helped erode pro-abortion support and kept anti-life forces at bay. Without more Nancy Tosis, who is to say more abortion activists would not have had their day?
Both the people of Ecuador and the Bishops’ Conference, along with other Christian organizations, have been praying and mobilizing in great numbers to oppose abortion expansion. Despite pressure from outside organizations like U.N. or International Planned Parenthood Federation, the populace massively supports life and family. The current law restricts abortion to cases where the mother’s health is endangered or she is mentally unstable. The law under debate would have opened doors to death by permitting abortion in cases of malformation of the baby, incest, rape or ‘unconsented insemination.’ For instance, no proof would have been required in the case of rape – a woman needed merely to claim she had been raped without a police report and could obtain an abortion. The ‘unconsented insemination’ provision was even more vague and undefined and a large loophole for allowing abortion. It must be stated that even the current law is unacceptable; if a woman’s health is endangered, the woman and child should be treated and the child delivered early, in the hope the child survives. There are no grounds for abortion, which kills the child and harms the mother psychologically, sometimes physically (and would certainly compound “mental instability”).
The abortion vote by the National Assembly of Ecuador was to be September 18th, that is today. But so many Ecuadorians were planning to protest before the Assembly to mobilize for life, as happened earlier this year, it is presumed the National Assembly moved the vote back by a day to avoid the crowds. Mario Rojas, Latin American Regional Director, stated busloads of activists were expected to descend on Quito, home of the National Assembly.
During the vote, Mass was celebrated in the street nearby by Archbishop Alfredo Jose of Quito and Primate of Ecuador. As Nancy Tosi of HLI reports, “People were scared, because information on the voting progress was not released. All Catholics were kneeling in the street during Mass, praying to God for His victory.” Mario Rojas stated, “A country consecrated to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary could not allow unborn children to be sacrificed. There is happiness in Heaven.”
According to D’Vox, Archbishop Alfredo Espinoza “shed tears” of happiness on hearing the news, stating: “Life has triumphed, Ecuador is a country that is in favor of life and not in favor of abortion.”
Just days ago, September 12-14, HLI’s Nancy Tosi led a three-day mission in Ecuador. (Last year HLI also held another mission trip to Ecuador, educating priests and seminarians on Life issues.) Following an interview with Radio Maria featuring Nancy Tosi, a Eucharistic Procession was proposed there and the Archdiocese of Cuenca immediately accepted. This was followed by 24 hours of adoration. The initiative was advertised with this poster.
Mario Rojas stated, “I really believe the power of the Holy Eucharist was felt today in Ecuador. The final result: Life won one more time. Praise the Lord.”
It is expected that pro-abortion legislators will take the issue to the Constitution Court of Ecuador.
Human Life International is an apostolate of the Catholic Church that continues to wage a full-on battle in defense of the sanctity of human life. Please pray for Latin America, which is deeply under attack by those who think human life is expendable.