Colombia has turn into the newest nation in Latin America to broaden entry to abortion, as its Constitutional Courtroom voted on Monday to legalize the process till the twenty fourth week of being pregnant.
The choice by the tribunal of 9 judges fell in need of the expectations of pro-choice teams that had been pushing for abortion to be fully decriminalized in Colombia.
However it was however described as a historic occasion by girls’s rights teams, which estimate 400,000 girls get clandestine abortions within the nation every year.
Earlier than the ruling, Colombia allowed abortions solely when a lady’s life was in peril, a fetus had malformations or a being pregnant resulted from rape.
Now girls in Colombia will have the ability to get abortions till the twenty fourth week of their being pregnant with out having to offer any justification. After the twenty fourth week, abortion will nonetheless be restricted to girls whose well being is in peril.
“We had been making an attempt to get the whole decriminalization of abortion … however that is nonetheless a historic step,” mentioned Cristina Rosero, a lawyer for the New York-based Middle for Reproductive Rights, an advocacy group that was considered one of 5 organizations that filed a lawsuit in 2020 to get the excessive court docket to evaluation Colombia’s abortions legal guidelines.
The lawsuit argued that restrictions on abortion discriminated in opposition to girls from low revenue areas for whom it was tougher to get authorized abortions, as a result of they’d much less entry to docs, attorneys or psychologists who may assist them to show that finishing up pregnancies would put their well being in danger.
Rosero mentioned the modifications made to Colombian legislation will now make it simpler for folks of decrease revenue ranges to entry secure abortions.
“Our problem now could be to make sure that this ruling is applied,” she mentioned.
Elsewhere in Latin America, Argentina, Uruguay and Cuba additionally enable abortions with out restrictions.
Latin America can also be a area the place some nations prohibit the termination of being pregnant with out exception, reminiscent of in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
In Colombia, the place a majority of the inhabitants identifies as Roman Catholic, abortion has lengthy been a controversial problem. Judges met a number of instances to evaluation the lawsuit filed by girls’s rights teams with out voting on it. In the meantime pro-choice teams waving inexperienced flags, confronted off in opposition to anti-abortion protesters wearing blue.
Jonathan Silva, an activist for the anti-abortion group United for Life, mentioned he was stunned by Monday’s choice. “We do not perceive how this occurred,” he mentioned. “However we should stage protests, and name on members of congress to control abortion.”
A ballot performed final 12 months in Colombia mentioned that 25 per cent of individuals thought of abortion against the law, whereas 42 per cent disagreed with that assertion.
In Colombia, girls who get unlawful abortions can resist three years in jail.