New Internationalist

Colombia’s abortive laws

September 2005

In Colombia, women can be imprisoned for up to four-and-a-half years for having abortions, even in cases of rape or when their lives are at risk, says Human Rights Watch. In a brief to Colombia’s Constitutional Court in June this year, the US-based NGO says that the country’s penal sanctions for abortion are inconsistent with international human rights obligations and should be declared unconstitutional. Colombia’s law prohibits abortion in all circumstances. Yet an estimated 450,000 abortions occur every year in Colombia. Recent studies indicate that a higher proportion of adolescent girls than adult women undergo the illegal procedure: a leading cause of maternal mortality.

Human Rights Watch

This column was published in the September 2005 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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