17-06-2008

Safe abortion with pills for Ecuadorean women

 

The press conference will take place at the Panecillo in Quito at 11.30 with a surprise action during which the abortion helpline will be launched. The hotline (number 593 99004545) will provide women with information explaining how they can do a safe abortion themselves with pills at home.

For more press information:

Women on Waves:
or +31652052561

Coordinadora Juvenil:
+593 8 2916415

More information:
The World Health Organization estimates that 95.000 illegal and unsafe abortions take place in Ecuador each year. As a result 30.000 women are hospitalized for complications every year and unsafe abortion is one of the main causes of maternal mortality (130 deaths per 100,000 live births). In Ecuador abortion is illegal except in the case of a threat to the life or health of a pregnant woman, when this danger cannot be averted by other means, or when the pregnancy is the result of a rape or statutory rape of a woman who is mentally disabled or insane.

Every year 42 million women choose to have an abortion worldwide, making abortion one of the most performed medical procedures in the world. Making abortion illegal does not reduce the abortion rate. When legal, abortion is a very safe procedure. Abortion is legal in most parts of the world, such as Europe, the United States, India, and China.

To call attention to the right for objective sexual education and legal and safe abortion services, the Ecuadorian Organisation, Coordinadora Juvenil por la Equidad de Genero, invited Women on Waves to Ecuador. On the Women on Waves ship, women can have a medical abortion in international waters were Dutch law applies. In Europe, more than 1.5 million women have terminated their pregnancies with the medicines mifepristone and misoprostol. A medical abortion is proven to be safe and effective. Mifepristone and misoprostol are on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines since 2005.

On its way to Ecuador, the Women on Waves ship, Harmony, ran aground in a tropical storm. But to do a safe abortion with pills, there is no need for a Dutch ship, as this is the age of worldwide communication, internet and mobile phones. Women from Ecuador can be free to decide themselves and take their lives in their own hands with the support of local organisations as the Coordinadora Juvenil, independent of the restrictive abortion laws. The hotline (tel: 593 99004545) that opens today will provide women in Ecuador with information how they can have a safe abortion with pills in their homes and will provide information on other issues related to sexuality.