Colombia’s Highest Court Legalizes Abortion Up To 24 Weeks

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia grew to become the newest nation in Latin America to increase entry to abortion Monday because the nation’s Constitutional Court voted to legalize the process till the twenty fourth week of being pregnant.

The determination 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. But it was nonetheless described as a historic occasion by ladies’s rights teams, which estimate 400,000 ladies get clandestine abortions within the nation every year.

Before the ruling, Colombia allowed abortions solely when a lady’s life was at risk, a fetus had malformations or a being pregnant resulted from rape.

Now ladies 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 of being pregnant, abortion will nonetheless face restrictions.

“We were trying to get the complete decriminalization of abortion … but this is still a historic step,” mentioned Cristina Rosero, a lawyer for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, an advocacy group that was one in all 5 organizations that filed a lawsuit in 2020 to get the excessive courtroom to review Colombia’s abortions legal guidelines.

The lawsuit argued that restrictions on abortion discriminated in opposition to ladies from low revenue areas for whom it was tougher to get authorized abortions, as a result of that they had much less entry to medical doctors, 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 protected abortions.

“Our challenge now is to ensure that this ruling is implemented” she mentioned.

Elsewhere in Latin America, Argentina, Uruguay and Cuba additionally enable abortions with out restrictions till sure levels of being pregnant, whereas in Mexico a supreme courtroom ruling just lately mentioned that girls can’t can’t be tried in courtroom for terminating their pregnancies.

Latin America can be a area the place some nations prohibit the termination of being pregnant with out exception, like in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and the (*24*) Republic.

In Colombia, the place a majority of the inhabitants identifies as Roman Catholic abortion has lengthy been a controversial difficulty. Judges met a number of instances to review the lawsuit filed by ladies’s rights teams with out voting on it. Meanwhile pro-choice teams waving inexperienced flags, confronted off in opposition to pro-life protesters wearing blue.

Jonathan Silva, an activist for the pro-life group United for Life, mentioned he was stunned by Monday’s determination. “We don’t understand how this happened” he mentioned. “But we will have to stage protests, and call on members of congress to regulate abortion.”

A ballot carried out final year in Colombia mentioned that 25% of individuals thought-about abortion against the law, whereas 42% disagreed with that assertion. In Colombia, ladies who get unlawful abortions can withstand three years in jail.