Home » 2 years ago abortion was decriminalized until week 24 in Colombia

2 years ago abortion was decriminalized until week 24 in Colombia

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2 years ago abortion was decriminalized until week 24 in Colombia

Article 122 of Law 599 of 2000 established that if a woman interrupted her pregnancy or allowed another person to cause the abortion, she could be sentenced to one or up to 3 years in prison. Later, the Constitutional Court determined through a ruling in 2006 that it is not a crime when the continuation of the pregnancy constitutes a danger to the woman’s life, there is serious malformation of the fetus and if the pregnancy is the result of rape.

However, various women’s organizations at the national level came together to present a lawsuit with the aim of eliminating the crime of abortion from the Penal Code, arguing that it violates more than a dozen rights enshrined in the 1991 Political Constitution.


Among them are sexual and reproductive rights, health, freedom of conscience, personality development, free expression, equality between women and men, education, among others.

The plaintiffs expressed that the aforementioned provision “forced women to act in accordance with considerations that do not necessarily coincide with their conscience and, therefore, the State persecutes those who make decisions about their own existence based on their self-determination.”

This, according to the document, “confronts the free determination of women to choose or not to have motherhood, which is punished when, in the use of that freedom, they decide to abort.”

For the plaintiffs, the regulation of abortion in Colombia started “from a moral position that, with religious interference, is fundamentally based on the protection of prenatal life,” and that “reproduction cannot be considered a merely biological act, but rather the result of will.”

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On February 21, 2022, after 5 votes in favor and 4 against, the Court announced its decision through Sentence C-055/22: decriminalize the voluntary interruption of pregnancy (IVE), but until the week 24, that is, up to 6 months, regardless of the 3 causes established in 2006.

Diana Fajardo, one of the judges, argued that the general criminalization of abortion is unconstitutional and that there is “the need for a definitive transition from criminal law to a public health policy around pregnancy, childbirth and/or voluntary interruption of the same”.


Two years after this decision, the public health leader of the Cesar Health Secretariat, Rosa María Cerchar, expressed that as an entity it is her responsibility to promote the fulfillment of this right of women.

“In Cesar the institutions have been advancing little by little on the issue of IVE, we have 2 institutions that organized the voluntary termination of pregnancy service, when certain weeks pass, they do not do it here, but there are some EPS that have contracts in other cities like Barranquilla,” Cerchar added.

By Editorial El Pilón.

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