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Ecuador – Maternity and Giving Birth

Ecuador, a country located in South America, has a public healthcare system that offers free prenatal care and delivery services to all pregnant women. In this article, we will explore the most common options for giving birth in Ecuador, how to register a birth in the country, and the attitudes to and legislation surrounding abortion.

Giving Birth in Ecuador

In Ecuador, the majority of births take place in hospitals, with only a small percentage occurring at home or in birthing centers. The public healthcare system provides free prenatal care and delivery services to all pregnant women, including medical check-ups, ultrasounds, and childbirth classes.

Private healthcare options are also available for those who prefer to have a more personalized experience, with some private hospitals offering luxury birthing suites with amenities such as a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, and a minibar.

Registering a Birth in Ecuador

To register a birth in Ecuador, the parents must go to the Civil Registry Office (Registro Civil) within 60 days of the baby’s birth. The following documents are required:

  • Baby’s birth certificate (Certificado de Nacimiento)
  • Parent’s identification documents (Cedula or passport)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Certificate of registration of the baby’s name (Acta de Nombres)

Once the documents have been submitted and verified, the baby’s birth certificate will be issued. It is important to note that the baby’s name cannot be changed once it has been registered.

Attitudes and Legislation Surrounding Abortion

Abortion is illegal in Ecuador, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. However, despite the legal restrictions, it is estimated that between 60,000 and 110,000 abortions are performed in the country each year, with unsafe abortions being a leading cause of maternal mortality.


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Efforts to decriminalize abortion have been ongoing in Ecuador, with women’s rights activists and organizations advocating for the legalization of abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal malformation, and risk to the mother’s health. As of 2021, a proposed bill to decriminalize abortion in these circumstances was under review in the National Assembly.

In conclusion, giving birth in Ecuador typically involves a hospital birth with access to free prenatal care and delivery services through the public healthcare system. Private healthcare options are also available for those who prefer a more personalized experience. Registering a birth in Ecuador requires the submission of various documents to the Civil Registry Office within 60 days of the baby’s birth. Abortion is illegal in Ecuador, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, but there are ongoing efforts to decriminalize abortion in certain circumstances.


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