Colombia has cleared, at least for the moment, fears that the right to abortion would be curtailed by a regressive reform. The Constitutional Court rejected on Wednesday to set limits to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, as the presentation of a magistrate proposed proposing to add a maximum term of two quarters to the current law. The high court ratified the norms that already exist and that they obey to three assumptions: danger for the health of the woman, serious malformation of the fetus and rape or incest. The ruling, which was imposed with six votes against three, is a victory for the voices demanding the removal of obstacles and more advanced legislation.
Abortion in Colombia was illegal until 2006 and, since then, that right can be accessed if a doctor determines that the conditions are given and authorizes it. Last year, 10,517 times were practiced, which represents a significant increase compared to 2016, when it was carried out 6,500 times. However, not only are there women who do not yet know the procedure to request it, but it often becomes a labyrinth. "Today there are still all kinds of barriers and obstacles for women to request access to the service of voluntary termination of pregnancy," the Court reported. "This situation implies an evident breach of the commitments assumed by the Colombian State."
The plenary session of the court addressed this debate because one of its members, Judge Cristina Pardo, tried to set a new protocol that would have prohibited abortion, under any circumstance, from week 24. Her arguments were based on the case of a woman who had to go to the judge to be able to interrupt the pregnancy in an advanced state of gestation. His position was only supported by a third of the room. But the decision is relevant because it faced two visions of reproductive rights and finally won the most guarded approach.
In any case, the Constitutional Court did not close the door for the legislature to intervene in the legislation. In fact, he exhorted Congress, with a very fragmented composition after the last elections, to regulate the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, "including, if it is the case, the issue of terms and free abortion." It is a request that the court also made regarding euthanasia, although Parliament has not yet collected the glove.