While the United States or Poland are withdrawing from the right to abortion, Colombia has just announced a historic measure: abortion can now be performed up to the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy. A move welcomed by activist associations.
Until now, Colombian women could only have an abortion if they were raped, severely deformed to the fetus or endangering the life or health of the mother. Women who violated these restrictions of a 2006 ruling risked between 16 and 54 months in prison. That is, whether the decision to decriminalize abortion, handed down on Monday, February 21, by the Colombian Constitutional Court, was expected.
Women who wish to exercise their right to an abortion no longer have to justify their reasons and can terminate their pregnancy up to the sixth month. “The act of abortion is only punishable if it is performed after the 24and pregnancy week »the Constitutional Court said in a statement. The penalties will then be the same as those already set by the court, the magistrates said.
This revolution for women’s rights is taking place in a context of global liberalization of the right to abortion in Latin America. A continent that is nevertheless very Catholic and has long been insensitive to the idea of allowing women to freely dispose of their bodies, especially in the field of reproduction. Colombia thus joins the still too-selective club of countries where the conditions for access to abortion are being relaxed, after Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba and Guyana.
The @CConstitucional decided to completely drop the abortion during the first 24 weeks of embarazo.
Is a historic decision, no one hopes for the impulses of the despenalización.
— La Silla Vacía (@lasillavacia) February 21, 2022
Claudia Lopez, Mayor of Bogota, welcomed this historic move on Twitter: “After the right to vote, this is the most important historic decision for the life, autonomy and full and equal development of women”she said.
Pro and anti-abortion had gathered before the Constitutional Court to await the verdict. At his announcement, some jumped for joy, others knelt to pray, AFP reports.