Colombia judges split on removing abortion from penal code


BOGOTA (Reuters) – Eight judges from Colombia’s constitutional court docket had been evenly split on Thursday over whether or not abortion ought to be eradicated from the penal code, the coalition of pro-choice teams which introduced the long-running lawsuit stated.

Abortion was partially legalized in Colombia below a 2006 ruling that permits it in circumstances of rape, deadly fetal deformity, and well being of the mom.

Pro-choice teams estimate that round 90% of abortions within the Andean nation happen clandestinely.

A coalition of greater than 90 pro-choice organizations, Causa Justa, introduced the swimsuit in 2020, saying prosecutions of girls who sought or obtained abortions worsen stigma and scare potential sufferers, even in circumstances when one of many three authorized circumstances applies.

A doable ruling in favor of elimination from the penal code wouldn’t widen the circumstances through which ladies and ladies can search abortions, however it might instantly assure that no extra individuals are imprisoned, Causa Justa has stated.

A ruling on the swimsuit had initially been anticipated late final 12 months, however a ninth decide requested a recusal.

That recusal was granted on Thursday, Causa Justa stated. The coalition later shared an inventory of how magistrates had voted and stated the court docket agreed to nominate a brand new ninth decide for an eventual re-vote.

A spokesman for the court docket stated it didn’t but have official remark.

Some 350 ladies had been convicted or sanctioned for abortions between the unique 2006 ruling and mid-2019, together with at the least 80 ladies below age 18, in keeping with Causa Justa.

“The proven fact that abortion exists as a criminal offense doesn’t dissuade ladies from searching for an abortion, it simply pushes them to hunt clandestine and sometimes unsafe abortions, placing their lives and well being in danger,” Catalina Martinez Coral, regional director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, stated exterior the court docket earlier on Thursday.

Anti-abortion teams and politicians within the broadly conservative nation have urged justices to vote in opposition to elimination, saying abortion quantities to homicide.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; extra reporting by Luisa Gonzalez; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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