In an op-ed in El País, Catalina Martínez Coral, the Center’s senior regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, reflects on the one-year anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Colombia’s landmark ruling decriminalizing abortion up to 24 weeks of gestation. The ruling came in response to a 2020 lawsuit filed by the Causa Justa Movement, of which the Center is a member.
In the op-ed, Martínez Coral celebrates the progress that has been made in Colombia in the year since the ruling. She commends the Colombian Ministry of Health for passing Resolution 051 of 2023, which lays out concrete abortion care guidelines for health professionals, and notes that the percentage of women seeking to manage their abortion care through Colombia’s public health system has increased.
Despite these significant steps forward, Martínez Coral writes, there is still more work to be done. While some sectors of Colombian society refuse to accept the Constitutional Court’s decision, she argues that the Causa Justa Movement’s focus on peaceful demonstration and constructive dialogue will continue to build trust and change minds throughout the region.
“Not keeping silent is our greatest defense, our most powerful weapon,” Martínez Coral writes. “Changing the minds and hearts of people, of more and more people, keeping their voices high, adding allies—that will be the safeguard of our freedom.”
Read the op-ed here: