by Martha Villafuerte
Ecuador is located in the middle of the world. We have more than 17 million inhabitants and a very conservative culture. We are also blessed with four marvelous climatic regions, one of them known as the enchanted islands (Galápagos Islands). However, we have also been strongly targeted by the anti-family lobby for the past three years. We have seen very closely the dark tentacles of the abortion agenda trying harder and harder to attack the two most valuable entities that represent our society: faith and family.
Since 2018 we’ve seen burning of churches, humanitarian blackmail from the United Nations (#ChantajeHumanitario), abortion bill debates inside our congress, home delivery of online abortion pills (in a country where abortion is illegal) — all of these are just a few attacks we have encountered just last year, during a time when a global virus has, ironically, taught us the real value of life. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is more yet to come, and we need to be prepared not only to respond and fight against these efforts, but to prevent these attacks. We must empower the pro-life grassroots among younger generations to be the life leaders we need them to be, and to become part of the solution rather than the problem.
The UN’s humanitarian blackmail was the “cherry on top” of these anti-life efforts. They tried to manipulate Ecuador with $46 million USD in COVID-19 aid — $3 million of it was earmarked to promote “legal and safe” abortion.
Attacks against life and family values are the same throughout the world, and therefore, the defense of life should be the same throughout the world. Pro-life organizations have allied within Ecuador, receiving even international support from countries like Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, and the United States, to fight these efforts to force abortion upon Ecuador. With all of this interconnected support, the pro-life campaign was successful. Our congress people were able to route the COVID-19 aid where it needed to go, with our religious leaders supporting us, and the media had no other choice but to expose the truth. This marked a historic precedent in Ecuador for pro-life advocacy, capturing global attention. We have worked to establish a strong network to promote the culture of life by educating our youth, to defend our constitutional rights, and to protect the life of the unborn.
Our main victories are these: in 2019 we stopped the abortion bill inside the congress and last year we got the president to veto the health code that promoted abortion as an obstetric emergency. But this year we have a new battle to fight, as the National Court ordered the public defender to create a new law to legalize abortion in cases of rape, and ordered the congress to treat and analyze that bill project.
Familia Ecuador is a national pro-life and pro-family network that seeks to give citizens the necessary tools to carry out direct actions in defense of life and family values. We encourage all Ecuadorians to join forces and be part of the noblest of causes, in order to strengthen pro-life values and principles, and to activate the culture of life in each person by defending every human being from the moment of fertilization. Our goal is to share our work with other countries in Latin America and the world, to create international collaborative alliances in the academic, legal, political, and economic fields.
We look to motivate professional advocates to defend life in the political sphere, as we are aware that it is the most important battlefield. We refer to some of the defenders of life in Congress as “escuderos de la vida” (pro-life knights) for both defending life and for being ethical politicians, because those values are missing among most political representatives.
I know how important it is to take that challenging step to defend life politically, as I ran for vice-president of my country in the past elections this year. This allowed me to raise an even louder voice for the noblest of causes, reaching every corner of my beautiful country. Taking the pro-life cause to the next level, the political level, is empowering more and more people to step up and demand true political representation.
Pro-lifers in America and worldwide have inspired us to be more strategic, gather more allies, be more prepared, and raise more voices to save as many lives as we can. Help us by spreading the message that Ecuador is a pro-life country more committed to the mission of defending life than ever.