Latin American country makes landmark abortion ruling — Analysis

Colombia’s Constitutional Court has decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy

Colombia has decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled on Monday. Prior to this, only rape cases were allowed, and abortions could be performed if the mother’s life was endangered or the pregnancy was ending in a terminal condition.

“The performance of an abortion will only be punishable when it is carried out after the 24th week of gestation,”In the decision, the court made the following statement. The court stated in the ruling that the procedure can only be continued after the time limit has been met.

An abortion performed within 24 weeks of conception and without the consent of the doctors could result in a sentence between 16 and 56 months imprisonment for the doctor and the patient.

Ahead of the ruling, both pro- and anti-abortion campaigners gathered outside the court in the country’s capital of Bogota. The ruling announcement was met with celebrations by pro-abortion activists, while the anti-abortion crowd knelt and prayed on the ground.

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“After the right to vote, this is the most important historical achievement for the life, autonomy and full and equal fulfillment of women,” Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez Hernandes said in response to the court’s judgment.

It is an important ruling for majority-Catholic countries. Colombia becomes the fifth Latin American nation to abolish the penalty of abortion after Argentina and Cuba.

Causa Justa sued Colombia for the illegal criminalization of abortion. It claims that approximately 5,500 investigations were conducted on alleged abortions in Colombia since 1998.

The group claims that 250 women were detained as a consequence of these investigations. 24 women are currently in prison for having an abortion, the country’s prison authority records show.

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