This report is based on research conducted by Human Rights Watch in the provinces of Pichincha, Tsachilas, Esmeraldas, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, and Imbabura. Telephone or Skype interviews were also conducted with experts from the provinces of Guayas and Azuay. All interviews were conducted in May, June, and July 2013.
A Human Rights Watch researcher carried out more than 45 interviews with medical professionals that provide post-abortion care to women and girls; 37 interviews with women and girls about their reproductive health and personal histories regarding violence against women; and 22 interviews with experts on women’s rights, including government officials and NGO representatives.
All women and girls interviewed provided oral informed consent to participate. Individuals were assured that they could end the interview at any time or decline to answer any questions, without any negative consequences. All participants were informed of the purpose of the interview, its voluntary nature, and the ways information would be collected and used. Care was taken with victims of gender-based violence to minimize the risk that recounting their experiences could further traumatize them. No interviewee received compensation for providing information. Where appropriate, Human Rights Watch provided contact information for organizations offering legal, counseling, health, or social services. Due to the illegality of abortion and the highly sensitive nature of the topic within Ecuadoran society, interviewees are identified by their initials and profession.
In this report, the word “child” refers to anyone under the age of 18, with “girl” referring to a female child.