Social Issues

Colombia celebrates abortion decriminalization a year on

By Maribel Arenas Vadillo

Bogota, Feb 21 (EFE).- A year after Colombia’s Constitutional Court decriminalized abortion until Week 24, dozens of Colombian women hugged again Tuesday at the doors of the building in central Bogota to celebrate the historic decision.

Among the feminists who vigorously waved their green scarves was Paula Bernal, one of the first young women who was able to terminate her pregnancy thanks to the ruling adopted on Feb. 21, 2022.

She was 20 when she became pregnant, making her feel as if her life was starting to fall apart “more than she already was.”

That is why today, claiming to be a woman who is “more feminist than ever,” she considers it important to celebrate the first anniversary of this event.

“It was a conquered right that took us time. Thanks to it I can say that right now I am alive,” the law student told EFE.

This milestone, which expanded the three grounds that allowed the termination of the pregnancy until then (rape or incest, risk to the mother or malformation of the fetus) was the result of two lawsuits. One was presented by five organizations of the Just Cause movement and another by an individual, which were discussed jointly and finally voted on with five votes in favor and four against.

Wrapped in green garments that match her eye shadow was Cristina Rosero, the lawyer and member of Causa Justa who participated in the drafting of one of the lawsuits.

They wrote the lawsuit during the strictest confinement that the country was experiencing due to Covid-19 and they did not hesitate to admit it was “challenging to find hope to write something that looked so far into the future, in the midst of such an extreme and confusing situation.”

For this reason, after two years of joint work and several delays by judges when it came to making a decision they expected by November 2021, many of the women who, like her, fought for decriminalization felt it was “unreal” that the result was reached.

“We had been waiting for a decision for more than 200 days. For us it was quite a tough uncertainty (…). That’s why, when we found out about the rumors that there was a decision, it was hard to believe,” said the woman from Narino, calling this day “sweet and unforgettable.” EFE


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