Ecuador president says his National Assembly betrayed him on abortion

(Photo: REUTERS / Freddy Zarco / Bolivian Presidency / Handout via Reuters)Ecuador's President Rafael Correa (C) waves to the crowd next to Bolivia's President Evo Morales at Ivirgarzama stadium in the Chapare region, about 600 km (373 miles) southeast of La Paz October 3, 2013. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was scheduled to join Correa and Morales for a meeting on regional integration, pulled out due to flu, Venezuelan media reported.

Ecuador's Roman Catholic President Rafael Correa has announced he will resign as president if his country's National Assembly makes changes in the Penal Code to legalize abortion.

"Rafael Correa threatened to resign his post if the National Assembly passed a proposed law seeking to amend Ecuador's Criminal Code.

"The law would permit abortion for all women who claim they were raped. Ecuadorian law permits abortion until birth when the life or health of the mother are at risk, or in cases of rape for mentally handicapped women," reports.

Correa has made his personal views on this issue public.

"I personally am against abortion," he said. "Whenever we've consulted the citizens regarding abortion, the immense majority rejects prenatal euthanasia," Correa said.

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in 2012 recommended that Ecuador "amend its Criminal Code so as to establish that abortion is not an offense if the pregnancy is the result of rape, regardless of whether or not the woman in question has a disability, or if the existence of congenital anomalies has been established," said.

Correa has accused his own governing alliance of betrayal.

He explained they were aware of his strict views on pro-life.

"It has cost me more, the betrayals of my own supposed friends, than the acts of my enemies," Correa said. "If these acts of betrayal and disloyalty go on, I will tender my resignation.

"Where do we say we should decriminalize abortion? On the contrary, our constitution pledges to defend life from the moment of conception," Correa said in a television interview broadcast on Thursday.

"They can do whatever they want. I will never approve the decriminalization of abortion," Correa asserted.

Ecuador's assembly is now in the final stage of this controversial debate regarding changes to the Penal Code.

Correa, whose term ends in 2017, has described himself as a "left-wing, humanist, Roman Catholic" the BBC reported.

Ecuador's National Assembly can accept President Correa's request to not legalize abortion, or it can disregard his request and make changes to the Penal Code, aware that he will resign.

Copyright © 2013 Ecumenical News