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Colombia Expands Access to Abortion

February 21, 2022


[Image Credit: Fernando Vergara/AP]

Cited article by The Associated Press via NPR


HRRC supports women's rights to bodily autonomy. While there is more progress to be made, this vote presents a historic breakthrough for Colombia and women's health.


Article Summary


Colombia is the latest Latin America country to increase access to abortion. The highest court in the country, the Constitutional Court, voted to legalize abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy. While many hoped that the court would completely decriminalize abortions, this remains a pivotal step toward women's rights. It is estimated that approximately 400,000 women annually underwent illegal abortions, and when done clandestinely this poses significant risk to their health and welfare.


This court ruling came in response to a law suit, stating that the continued abortion law was discriminatory against women of low-income status. Due to low income, these women had less access to medical, legal, and psychological professionals. Additionally, women in Colombia who pursue illegal abortions can face up to 3 years in prison, with increased health risks.