by Steven Ertelt
December 8, 2005
Bogota, Colombia (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s highest court in Colombia will not issue a ruling on a lawsuit intended to legalize abortion in this South American nation. Abortion advocates had submitted a lawsuit intended to overturn the nation’s laws that prohibit abortion
Manuel Jose Cepeda, president of Colombia’s Constitutional Court, told reporters late Wednesday that the lawsuit failed to meet some legal standards. However, he indicated the court would examine future abortion lawsuits if submitted.
Monica Roa, a lawyer with Women’s Link, a pro-abortion group based in Spain, told the Associated Press she didn’t know why the court did not rule on her case, because she hadn’t seen the text of the decision.
"What the court decided is not to decide," Roa said. "We’ll have to wait and see their arguments because we have not yet seen the text, but we’re committed to this public health problem."
Most countries in Central and South America prohibit abortions, but Colombia, Chile and El Salvador are the only ones to make abortion illegal in all cases.
"The plaintiffs in this case, sponsored by the most radical of pro-abortion interest groups are trying to use the ‘American approach’ to legalizing abortion on demand in Colombia," Raimundo Rojas, director of Hispanic outreach for National Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
"If they succeed, the ramifications for the women, the families and the children of Colombia will be as disastrous as they have been in the United States," he added.
Roa’s lawsuit intended to make abortion legal in Colombia in cases of rape, incest or when the unborn child is severely disabled. She based her arguments on international human rights documents saying women should have control of their reproductive health.
Pro-life groups countered with a submission of two million signatures from Colombia residents who opposed making abortion legal.
Fabian Marulanda, of the Catholic Church there, called the decision a victory and told AP it "implies that it took into account the opinion of the majority of Colombian people, who are against abortion."
Magaly Llaguno, director of Vida Humana Internacional, which has helped pro-life groups in Colombia, says many other pro-abortion groups based in the U.S. have signed on to the lawsuit, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Catholics for a Free Choice, and several student pro-abortion organizations.
In 1994, Chief Magistrate Antonio Barrera ruled that “the Constitutional protection of human life begins at the moment of conception, considering that a separate human life exists apart from the mother.”
The high court also ruled that the right of a couple to limit the number of children they will raise ends at the “moment of conception of a new human life.”
The move to overturn pro-life laws is also taking place in other South American nation’s and lawmakers in Brazil are expected to vote any day on whether to legalize all abortions in the early part of pregnancy.