The Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia has decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks of gestation. The decision, ruled 5-4, is considered to be a historic victory for a predominantly Catholic nation.
The decision makes Colombia the third Latin American state to either legalize or decriminalize the procedure in recent years. The highest court in Mexico decriminalized abortion last year, while the Argentine Senate voted for the legalization in December of 2020.
Prior to the February 21 ruling, the Bolivarian country solely permitted abortion in cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life.
While to many, the court decision is considered to be a historic victory for women’s rights, others regard it as being dangerous, including Deysi Alvarez of Red Provida Latam, a Latin American-based pro-life network.
“The terrible decision that the Constitutional Court has made is barbaric. Abortion is horrible at any week of pregnancy, but allowing abortions in such advanced stages is going to affect women psychologically,” Alvarez told ACI Prensa.
President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil also expressed his disapproval tweeting: “May God watch over the innocent lives of Colombian children, now subject to being taken with the consent of the State in their mothers’ wombs until the 6th month of pregnancy, without the slightest chance of defense. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll fight to the end to protect our children’s lives!”
Claudia López Hernández, the first female to be elected mayor of Bogota, also tweeted on the matter, however, in support of the decision stating, "After the right to suffrage, this is the most important historic achievement, for the life, autonomy and full and equal realization of women."
Currently, five Latin American countries completely prohibit abortion, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.