In landmark ruling, Colombia legalises abortion as much as 24 weeks of being pregnant

Issued on: 22/02/2022 – 11:13

Colombia’s excessive courtroom decriminalized abortion as much as 24 weeks of being pregnant on Monday in a landmark ruling for the majority-Catholic nation, certainly one of just a few in Latin America that at present permits the process. 

“The efficiency of an abortion will solely be punishable when it’s carried out after the twenty fourth week of gestation,” the Constitutional Courtroom stated in a press release.

After that time, abortion will solely be permitted in sure circumstances already established by the courtroom, akin to in circumstances of rape, if the well being of the mom is at risk or if the fetus has a deadly situation.

Earlier than Monday’s ruling, abortion was solely allowed beneath these three situations, per a 2006 choice by the Constitutional Courtroom.

Other than these exceptions, each ladies and the docs who carried out their abortions would face jail sentences starting from 16 to 54 months.

A whole bunch of pro- and anti-abortion protesters gathered outdoors the courtroom constructing within the capital Bogota.

Ladies carrying inexperienced scarves, the colour of the pro-abortion motion, celebrated because it was introduced the courtroom voted 5-4 to decriminalize abortion. Close by, anti-abortion protesters waved blue flags and knelt on the bottom, praying.

“After the appropriate to suffrage, that is crucial historic achievement, for the life, autonomy and full and equal realization of ladies,” Bogota mayor Claudia Lopez tweeted.

Colombia is now the fifth Latin American nation to decriminalize abortion entry, together with Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba and Guyana.

In Mexico, the process is permitted for as much as 12 weeks within the southern state of Oaxaca, the japanese state of Veracruz, the central state of Hidalgo and in Mexico Metropolis.

“Colombia is on the forefront of reproductive rights each regionally and globally,” Catalina Martinez, a lawyer for the Causa Justa group, instructed AFP.

Causa Justa sued Colombia over the unconstitutionality of the punishments for abortion. The Constitutional Courtroom studied the group’s arguments for its ruling.   

Obstacles to abortion

In keeping with data gathered by Causa Justa, about 5,500 investigations into alleged abortions have been performed since 1998. About 250 ladies have been arrested because of the probes.

The feminist collective Mesa por la Vida y la Salud de las Mujeres stated that, because the preliminary decriminalization in 2006 till 2019, 346 ladies have been punished for having an abortion, together with 85 minors.

There are 24 ladies at present in jail for having an abortion, based on the jail authority.

The Catholic church and different non secular teams in Colombia have repeatedly pushed again towards decriminalizing abortion entry.

“It’s a choice that goes towards life, towards the household, towards society,” Marlene Herrera, one of many anti-abortion protesters outdoors the courthouse, instructed AFP.

Ladies’s teams say that there are numerous obstacles to getting the process, even when a being pregnant falls into one of many classes allowed by the 2006 ruling.

Among the many difficulties they allege are delays in well being facilities authorizing the process. Some docs additionally object to performing abortions, forcing many ladies to get an unlawful surgical procedure.

No group has an official determine on what number of unlawful abortions are carried out in Colombia per 12 months. A 2014 research by the well being ministry estimates that 70 ladies die and 132,000 undergo problems yearly from “unsafe abortions.” 


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