Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has vetoed the health code bill passed by parliament earlier in the year. The project planned to widen access to abortion and contraception for minors, and made it compulsory to teach gender ideology in schools.
“This veto is a victory for life,” pro life activist Geraldine Weber commented, on September 25, 2020, the day when the Ecuadorian head of state flatly refused the draft revision of the code of health, adopted by parliament on August 26.
A Contested Draft Health Code
The draft code, drawn up over an eight-year period, removed all restrictions on abortion in “cases of obstetric emergency,” which was defined as a danger to the health of the mother or the fetus. In these specific cases, the project even planned to ban all recourse to conscientious objection for practitioners.
The code also provided for the prescription of contraceptives to minors, even without parental consent, the teaching of gender theory, sex reassignment, and surrogacy.
In a August 28 declaration, the bishops denounced the many abuses that this code was likely to cause.
A “Technical” Veto
According to the legal secretary to the presidency, Johana Pesántez, President Lenin Moreno vetoed the bill on September 25 because it contained numerous technical health inaccuracies.
The health code contains a “punitive approach which, far from guaranteeing the right to health, could become an obstacle to flexible and timely care by doctors and other health workers,” Mrs. Pesántez told El Universo newspaper.
Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus, Archbishop of Quito, confided in having received with joy the news of the presidential veto, referring to “a historic day because life triumphed.”
The high prelate thanked the authorities of his country for having “listened to the people” and knowing “to say no to a death-dealing project, while Ecuador is committed to respect for life,” he added. .
The Archbishop of Quito was not mistaken: “we must continue to preach for life,” and “educate the young,” said Archbishop Espinoza.
Parliament will be able to present a new bill within a year.