The attorney general of Colombia is proposing a radical new bill to legalize first-trimester abortion on demand in the conservative South American nation.
Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre made the announcement Tuesday during a pro-abortion conference, according to the Stabroek News.
“The proposal is to unconditionally allow abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. What happens starting with the 12th week? The grounds for (getting) permission for abortion would enter into force,” Montealegre said.
Currently, the country only allows abortions in cases of rape, the life and health of the mother and fetal deformity, according to the report. The new bill would allow abortions for any reason in the first trimester, and even later in cases of rape, the life and health of the mother and fetal deformity.
The attorney general claims the proposal will help reduce the number of illegal abortions performed in Colombia that are “risky for the women.” One study estimated that approximately 300,000 illegal abortions occur every year in Colombia.
However, Dr. Michael New, a political science professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, said abortion groups have greatly overestimated the number of illegal abortions in Colombia.
Local news outlets predict that the abortion bill will face strong opposition from pro-life lawmakers and the Catholic Church. Montealegre also admitted that it would be difficult to pass his abortion bill.
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Abortion advocates have long been pushing their agenda in socially conservative South American countries like Colombia.
In 2014, abortion advocates tried to slip an expansion of abortion into a bill to help victims of sexual violence. However, Colombia’s Senate removed the pro-abortion measure from the bill, unanimously voting that there is no “right to abortion,” LifeNews previously reported.
Article 13 of the bill tried to establish abortion as a right by contending that victims of rape must have access to justice, and the “right” to be informed and advised about the possibility of continuing or suspending their pregnancy. This language would have set a highly destructive precedent, paving the way for abortion on demand.
Pro-lifers grasped the grave consequences of the bill’s language and intervened.
While the country has held strong on pro-life protections for the unborn, Colombians nearing the end of life are not longer being protected. Last year, the country opened the doors to voluntary euthanasia when its Health Ministry released guidelines for the legalized killing. The rules came 18 years after the Colombia Supreme Court ruled that euthanasia is a constitutional right.
Despite the 1997 ruling, Colombian law-makers dragged their heels on the issue and never drafted protocols. As a result, doctors feared that they could be charged with homicide if they helped someone to die.
In July 2015, after the Health Ministry rules were released, a cancer patient became the first Colombian euthanasia victim.