Colombia legalizes abortion within 24 weeks (in Italy there are 12)

Of Marta Serafini

The decision of the Constitutional Court of Bogot, after Mexico and Argentina. The joy of the activists and the criticisms of the conservatives

A flood of pauelos (tissues)
Verdi invaded the square in Bogot before the Constitutional Court yesterday. A party that comes after a wait that lasted 5oo days and tens of years of struggles and battles. Five votes in favor and four against by the supreme judges and also Colombia, last in chronological order in Latin America (as well as the most populous, Catholic and one of the most conservative country) has legalized abortion up to the 24th week.

After this period, the voluntary termination of pregnancy will be possible only in three specific cases, as already foreseen by the law: in case of danger to the life of the mother, genetic malformation of the fetus or in case of rape. A wide limit, certainly compared to that granted in Italy, where voluntary abortion beyond the 12th week is allowed only in case of serious danger to the woman or to her physical or mental health. According to activists of the Causa Justa movement who wept and celebrated even before the official sentence was known, it will now be easier to request the interruption especially for the poorest women and those who live in the most remote areas, where adequate medical facilities are often lacking. or support structures. The Ministry of Health also estimates that every year in Colombia about 400 thousand women resort to clandestine abortion and that on average 70 of them die from complications.. Juan Pappier, a Colombian expert from Human Rights Watch, said the criminalization of abortion was a failed policy. And it must end and recalled how the Colombian judges’ decision follows qthe one of his Mexican colleagues last September and that of the Argentine Congress of December 2020.

As expected, yesterday’s sentence occupied part of the Colombian political debate, in view of the presidential elections in May, with the candidates almost all expressing themselves in favor of the decision. The only one who has remained silent for now, the left favorite, the former guerrilla Gustavo Petro.

Other exponents of Colombian politics have expressed themselves in favor of the sentence. Bogot mayor Claudia Lpez described it as one of the most important triumphs for women in the country’s history. After the right to vote, this is the most important achievement for life, autonomy and the full and equal fulfillment of women, she tweeted.

Although President Ivn Duque respected the institutional no comment and the conservative candidate Scar Ivn Zuluaga censured the decision of the Court while acknowledging its authority, many men of the Colombian establishment lashed out against the sentence with very violent words. A state that decides to eliminate a part of human beings, from the first day or until the 24th week, becomes genocidal and totalitarian. It hurts to see society subjugated by the culture of death, wrote the Colombian ambassador to the OAS, Alejandro Ordez.

Meanwhile, abortion remains illegal and always prohibited in Haiti, Honduras, Suriname, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador.


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