This Monday the Constitutional court admitted for review the lawsuit filed by the Just Cause movement, with which it seeks to eliminate the crime of abortion from the Criminal Code, so that this practice is not prosecuted.
EL TIEMPO learned that this lawsuit was admitted for study, which means that the high court considered that met the requirements to be assessed by the high court, who will now have to decide whether to keep Article 122 of the Penal Code as it is – which is the one that penalizes abortion in Colombia-, if he makes changes, or if he knocks him down, as the lawsuit requests.
The lawsuit was filed on September 16 by the Causa Justa movement, and was signed by 134 activists and 91 organizations, among them Women’s Link World Wide, The Table for the Life and Health of Women, the Center for Reproductive and Catholic Rights for the Right to Decide.
(Read also: Constitutional Court will receive new lawsuit against the crime of abortion).
The objective of the lawsuit is to completely eliminate the criminalization of abortion so that women are not persecuted with penalties that can go from one to four years in prison, because today This practice is prosecuted when it occurs outside of the three grounds that the Constitutional Court admitted in 2006, when it allowed the voluntary interruption of pregnancy in three causes. This is when the pregnancy involves a risk to the life or health of the mother, when there is a rape, or a malformation of the fetus incompatible with life.
The demand is in the office of the magistrate Antonio José Lizarazo, who admitted it for review and now must evaluate its arguments, to later present a presentation before the Plenary Chamber of the high court.
As EL TIEMPO learned, the car order to listen to different voicess on this issue, asking for the intervention of different sectors “on very specific issues,” explained a source.
(Read also: Grave court order to investigate a minor for the crime of abortion).
Thus, the opinion of experts was requested, women’s and social organizations, churches, universities, as well as congressmen who have presented bills for and against legalizing abortion. All this, in order to encourage and open the debate on the subject to listen to the different opinions.
For now it has not yet been decided to convene a public hearing because this decision is of the Plenary Chamber.
After knowing the admission of the demand, the Just Cause Movement assures that its demand proposes a “definitive and fair solution so that the right to abortion is finally guaranteed for all”, a solution that is in line with what international organizations and organizations have recommended. the same Criminal Policy Advisory Commission.
Just Cause assures that it trusts that the Court, “which has been characterized by its legal rigor and by the defense of women’s rights, will thoroughly study the new arguments of this lawsuit and act in law.”
About the car that admits the lawsuit, Catalina Martínez Coral, regional director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that the “crime of abortion has to disappear from the Penal Code. No woman should be afraid of going to jail for accessing this health service,” he said.
(We invite you to read: Pandemic abortion: even more barriers to legal grounds).
The lawsuit that the Court will evaluate establishes that although the 2006 ruling, which allowed the voluntary interruption of pregnancy (IVE) in all three causes, constituted an important advance, This practice continues to have great barriers and the main one is that abortion outside of these three exceptions continues to be penalized.
That penalty, the lawsuit maintains, creates a stigma on the law, even in cases already allowed, that obstructs the provision of the service, that promotes ignorance and that generates fear among doctors when interrupting a pregnancy in legalized cases .
But in addition, the demand sustains, other forms of regulation on the subject that are different from the criminal one should be soughtsuch as education, pregnancy prevention, and public health policies. Another of the arguments of the lawsuit is that the penalty unequally affects the most vulnerable women and girls, since they are the ones who are denied the service the most and who, in turn, are more persecuted by the punitive power.
According to the Causa Justa movement, the criminalization of abortion violates the right to IVE, the rights to health, equality, freedom of profession and trade, and freedom of conscience.