In the coming weeks, Colombia could completely decriminalize abortion

A protester shouts slogans in favor of abortion on a street in Bogotá (Colombia). EFE / Carlos Ortega / Archive

Currently in the country, abortion is viable in three causes: (I) When the continuation of the pregnancy constitutes a danger to the life or physical or mental health of the woman, certified by a doctor; (II) When there is a serious malformation of the fetus that makes its life unviable, certified by a doctor; and, (III) When the pregnancy is the result of a conduct, duly reported, constituting carnal access or sexual act without consent, abusive or non-consensual artificial insemination or transfer of fertilized ovum, or incest. However, various social sectors continue to fight for total decriminalization, because in this way the numbers of women killed by clandestine abortions would be reduced, would help combat public health problems and would give women complete freedom from be able to decide on your body.

Because this is a judicial dispute and has had different setbacks, at this time, the Constitutional Court is studying the papers that could change the conditions for abortion. According to El Espectador, the decision will depend on two presentations and one of these is that of the magistrate Antonio José Lizarazo who was not known.

According to the medium, Lizarazo concludes with the importance of decriminalization after studying the case of the feminist movement Causa Justa, made up of more than 45 organizations that work in favor of women’s rights. In his document, the magistrate states that instead of protecting lives, in the country criminal persecution of those who seek abortion is being generated and that this “intensely affects the obligation to respect the right to health.”

In this sense, it is important to remember that in the month of August, andhe report ‘The criminalization of abortion in Colombia’, carried out by the Mesa por la Vida y la Salud de Mujeres, in alliance with the professor attached to the University of Los Andes Isabel Cristina Jaramillo Sierra pointed out that 12.5 percent of abortion cases prosecuted by the courts correspond to women between 14 and 17 years of age, as well as that 24 percent of the cases that end in conviction are of women minors.

The magistrate who did an arduous investigative work and collected data from different institutions such as the Ministry of Health, the Prosecutor’s Office and international organizations, also made it clear that Criminalization forces citizens to resort to unsafe abortions, a situation that is reflected in maternal mortality and morbidity rates, among other issues that violate the rights of women and girls, which can be reduced with the decriminalization of consensual abortion.

Therefore, Lizarazo believes that Colombia should address the issue, taking into account the current context and that this debate cannot take place under the three causes, but must be expanded and put on the table that this could be violating the rights of women. women, girls and pregnant people.

For the reasons and the analysis set out in the 199-page document, Antonio José Lizarazo; proposed that The best thing is that the complete decriminalization of abortion is regulated by the Ministry of Health and the Government, if so, they would have two years to do the whole process.

This presentation goes hand in hand with the one presented by Judge Alberto Rojas Ríos who argues that the crime of abortion “Creates hateful and unjustified discrimination” by sanctioning women who abort, a situation that does not occur with men.

For now, the Court is expected to reach a conclusion with these two positions in the next 15 to 20 days. The decriminalization, in this case, will depend on 5 of the 9 magistrates in charge voting in favor of the papers by Lizarazo and Rojas. For now, close sources assured Efe that there are 4 votes in favor, those of the speakers, that of Alejandro Linares and another whose name is not known; and it would depend on some female magistrate who has not yet made her final decision.


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