In Ecuador, the bill to decriminalize abortion filed by the government of the Bolivarian left, was rejected by 5 votes, during its review in Parliament on September 18, 2019. The work done upstream by the Bishops of the country to the deputies was far from being futile.
Quito: the Ecuadorian capital perched at some 2,800 meters above sea level, where the air begins to thin. Not for newborns who can breathe better since the country’s National Assembly rejected the bill to decriminalize abortion.
Proponents of decriminalizing abortion, however, believed up to the end: on the eve of the poll, Ximena Peña, president of the Parliament’s Law Commission, said that the project would win 75 votes in favor. But on this September 18, the “yes” counter stopped at 65, 5 votes short of victory.
“We are delighted with the results, but we also remain aware that work must continue, especially at the educational and cultural level, to help those who are carrying a child,” said Archbishop Jose Alfredo Espinoza Mateus, primate Archbishop of Quito of Ecuador.
“In the debate of these last days,” continues the prelate, “it was said that abortion would only be allowed in cases of violence against the mother, but that is not true, many other circumstances have been put forward to move towards legalization pure and simple.”
The rejection of the bill, only narrowly it must be said, was also because of the intense work educating the members of parliament conducted by the episcopate. As the Archbishop of Quito acknowledges, “both from the level of the episcopal conference and that of the archdiocese, we have done an excellent job contacting and dialoging with the deputies to raise their awareness.”
But the Ecuadorian prelates know that even as they have carried out an “intense work that bore fruit,” this work must “not stop and must continue,” concludes Bishop Espinoza Mateus.
An episcopal determination that would not be looked down on by the Latin poet Martial who wrote in one of his famous epigrams: Accipe quam primum, brevis est occasio lucri; that may loosely translated as: “Take it at once; brief is the opportunity for gain.”