Colombian Congress Defeats Proposals to Amend the Constitution and Prohibit Abortion under All Circumstances

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(PRESS RELEASE) Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights celebrated the Colombian Senate’s defeat of a recent proposal to amend the country’s constitution and ban abortion under all circumstances.

On October 12, the constitutional commission of the Senate rejected “Project No. 006 de 2011,” a proposed amendment which would have established the right to life from conception until natural death under the Colombian Constitution. If approved, the measure would have voided a groundbreaking decision by the Colombian Constitutional Court in 2006 permitting abortion in cases of rape, incest, severe fetal abnormality and when a woman’s life or health is endangered.

“We celebrate this extremely important decision by the Congress—it is a victory for women in Colombia and across Latin America,” said Mónica Arango Olaya, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, “This decision affirms Colombia’s commitment to its international human rights obligations and to protect and guarantee women’s rights to dignity, life, health and non-discrimination. We strongly urge the Congress to continue to hold the line against these dangerous attacks against women’s health and rights.”

The proposed amendment would have also banned euthanasia, some contraceptive methods, emergency contraception and assisted reproductive methods as in vitro fertilization.