Colombia Decriminalizes Abortion


People gathered in the capital, Bogota, to celebrate the recent court decision

T. Dongara, News Editor

Colombia’s feminist movements celebrate a major win after a significant decision made by the country’s Constitutional Court. As of Monday, February 21, abortion was legalized for up until 24 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion rights activists have been campaigning for the decriminalization of abortion for well over 20 years. When the decision was made, thousands of people gathered around the country’s capital city, Bogota, along with other major cities, to celebrate. 


In previous years, abortion was only legal under certain situations. These include when the well-being of the woman is at risk, when the fetus has malformations, and when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. If a woman is discovered to have gotten an abortion when one of these three circumstances isn’t present, they could face over 4 years in jail. This new law allows any woman to get an abortion as long as they’re, at the highest, on their 24th week of pregnancy. However, if they get an abortion past their 24th week, they will still be prosecuted. 


 Other countries such as Argentina and Mexico have also made recent decisions to legalize abortion. In December 2020, Argentina made abortion legal for up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. This was a massive step for the legalization of the practice among Latin countries. Mexico’s supreme court soon followed and legalized abortion in September 2021. 


This decision will also help prevent certain issues women have had to face in the past years. Thousands of women are suspected to have gotten illegal abortions. The result is the use of unsafe practices that could severely harm their health. Women who need an abortion for medical reasons have also faced difficulty getting treatment. Many receive negative attitudes from medical staff and get flat out refused to be treated. 


Although abortion activists have been hoping for full legalization, this is still a big step towards their goal.