by Steven Ertelt
December 12, 2005
Bogota, Columbia (LifeNews.com) — Just days after indicating it would not rule on a lawsuit seeking to legalize some abortions, the Colombia Supreme Court received a second lawsuit filed by abortion advocates in the United States who want to make abortion legal in the South American nation.
Mónica Roa, a Bogotá-based attorney with the international pro-abortion group Women’s Link Worldwide, told the New York Times her group is "committed" to making sure the country’s law prohibiting all abortions is toppled.
Roa claimed that a "solution" is needed to what she alleges is a problem with women dying from illegal abortions in Colombia.
Roa’s first legal challenge sought to allow abortions in the case of a mothers’ life in danger from the pregnancy, when the unborn child has severe physical handicaps, or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. She argued the country’s ban on abortions violated international treaties.
The nine-member Constitutional Court threw out the lawsuit last Wednesday on technical and procedural grounds.
But Manuel Jose Cepeda, president of court, said it would consider another lawsuit.
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.
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 last week’s 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.