High Impact Litigation in Colombia: the unconstitutionality of abortionIn April 2005, Women's Link Worldwide launched a bold and innovative challenge to the Constitutional Court of Colombia, asking the judges to liberalize the country's abortion law, which outlawed the procedure under all circumstances.
Women's Link Worldwide's video explores the process of filing the lawsuit and the debate surrounding it.
On May 10, 2006 the Constitutional Court issued a historic decision. The majority of the Court (5-3) ruled that abortion should not be considered a crime in three circumstances:
- when the life or health (physical and mental) of the woman is in danger
- when pregnancy is a result of rape or incest
- when grave fetal malformations make life outside the uterus unviable
The Women's Link's case was the first to challenge Colombia's abortion law using international human rights arguments. The Colombian Constitution explicitly states that international human rights treaties ratified by Congress take precedence over national laws and serve as a guide in interpreting the rights established in the Constitution.
Now that women's rights are acknowledged on paper, Women's Link is working to:
- ensure the proper implementation of the new legal framework
- protect and strengthen the judicial decision that brought about this change
Updates on the law and its implementation are found on our project page: Ensuring Reproductive Rights in Colombia: From Success at the Constitutional Court to Reality:
See also the article:
Ensuring Reproductive Rights in Colombia: From Constitutional Court success to reality available online at:
- Length16 min
- Year 2006
- Length 16 min
- Topic Abortion
- Countries Colombia
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