In a landmark decision, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled on February 21 that abortion is legal in that country until the 24th week of pregnancy.
The court ruled in a case brought by Causa Justa (‘righteous cause’), an umbrella movement for more than 60 groups and thousands of activists across Colombia that has been working to eliminate abortion from the Colombian Criminal Code.
Diana Quintero, a Visiting Human Rights Engaged Scholar at the University of Minnesota and a native of Colombia, coordinated a project with ALAS (Latin American Law Scholars Network) to design a legal strategy for Causa Justa.
Faculty members of ALAS who specialize in criminal law, gender issues, sociology of law, and human rights law, examined existing strategies, and Quintero drafted a new proposed law. The court adopted its main statements in its decision.
Before 2006, abortion in Colombia was banned completely. That year, the court decriminalized abortion but only under three circumstances: if the pregnancy was the result of rape, if the woman had a life-threatening condition, or if the fetus had severe abnormalities.