by Steven Ertelt
August 30, 2006
Bogota, Colombia (LifeNews.com) — The Catholic Church in Colombia has excommunicated anyone directly or indirectly involved with approving or doing the first legal abortion in the nation since the South American country’s top court legalized it in some cases in May. The abortion occurred on a rape victim who was 11 years old.
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo made the excommunication announcement on Tuesday and he said it applied to the judges, politicians, legislators, the physicians and nurses as well as the girl’s parents.
Under the Catholic Code of Canon Law of 1983 the excommunication of someone involved in an abortion is automatic.
Under the excommunication, those involved in the abortion will be prohibited from any ministerial functions in both worship and receiving communion.
The nation’s Supreme Court weakened the country’s pro-life law in May — changing it from a complete ban on abortions to allowing them in cases of rape or incest of if the baby has severe physical deformities. The court also allowed abortions in very rare situations when it could be necessary to save the life of the mother.
The abortion case involved an 11 year-old girl who became pregnant after her stepfather raped her.
The girl’s abortion wasn’t automatic but had to go to the courts before it was authorized. The case made headlines in Colombia media for weeks before the abortion was done.
Hundreds of pro-life advocates demonstrated outside the hospital where the abortion happened.
In July, the bishops of Colombia said abortions should not be legal. The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga pointed to statements of Pope Benedict XVI which declared that the value of human life is not negotiable.
He said the Colombia high court’s decision to legal abortion in some cases did not make it morally allowable.
The 5-3 ruling by the Colombia court in May puts the nation’s abortion law in line with most other South American nations, which prohibit abortion but allow them in the rare cases.
El Salvador and Chile are now the only Latin American nations to completely prohibit abortions.