Colombian Court Legalizes Abortion In Some Cases
The Constitutional Court of Colombia voted in late February to legalize abortion until 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion rights activists in the largely Catholic country of 51 million had hoped for a broader ruling establishing full legality of the procedure. Prior to the ruling, abortion was legal only in cases of rape, a threat to the life of the mother or fetal abnormality. Nevertheless, it is estimated that about 400,000 women received clandestine abortions every year. Hundreds of women were annually charged with violating the law.
Cristina Rosero, an attorney for the U.S.-based group Center for Reproductive Rights, told Religion News Service (RNS) that while the Center had hoped for complete decriminalization of abortion, “this is still a historic step.” The Center was one of five organizations that filed the lawsuit challenging Colombia’s strict abortion laws.
The ruling means that three of the four most populous countries in Latin America now allow abortion.