United Nations Committee Pressures Colombia for More Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 1, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

United Nations Committee Pressures Colombia for More Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 1
, 2007

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — The United Nations is pressuring another nation to legalize abortion after criticizing Poland earlier this month. The UN committee charged with overseeing implementation of the CEDAW treaty chided Colombia last week for legalizing some abortions but not making abortion legal in general.

Colombia’s Supreme Court weakened the country’s pro-life law last 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 UN committee commended Colombia for legalizing abortions in those instances but asked the country’s delegation when it planned to legalize more abortions.

According to the Friday Fax report from the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, a pro-life group that lobbies at the UN, Martha Lucia Vasquez Zawadzky, the head of the Colombian delegation, told the committee that more abortions would only happen if all three branches of the Colombia government wanted it.

Appearing to misrepresent the pro-life views of hr nation, Zawadzky added that “now is a time to rejoice” about the abortions the nation’s legalized.

According to the pro-life group’s report, Cuban delegate Magalys Arocha said she was concerned that abortions wouldn’t expand in Colombia because the nation’s court allowed doctors to opt out of doing them if it violates their religious or moral views.

She told the Colombia delegation that their country should organize a campaign to make sure people are available who will do abortions.

Zawadzky responded that medical institutions must perform abortions and that the nation was working on implementing the court’s decision to make sure women could have abortions five days after they decide to have one.

CFHRI’s report noted that "Colombia has repeatedly come under fire from UN treaty compliance committees regarding their abortion laws."

The Human Rights Committee asked the nation in 2004 to legalize abortion in some cases and the CEDAW committee criticized the nation in 1999 saying its laws violated the rights of women.

Earlier this month, the CEDAW committee said Poland has not done enough to comply with it.

Committee members criticized the nation for allowing a conscience clause for physicians who don’t want to do abortions. The committee also questioned the Polish representative about illegal abortions in the nation.

The Polish representative told the committee that "every abortion is a tragedy" and said the biggest problem is the ability to provide support for single women who are pregnant. He said that need, not abortion, was the biggest question to address.

When communism fell in this eastern European nation in 1989, Polish politicians reached an agreement with Catholic Church leaders to make abortion illegal in most cases. Poland currently prohibits most abortions but allows them in cases to save the life of the mother or in rape and incest.

Related web sites:
Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute – https://www.c-fam.org