BOGOTÁ, March 9, 2011 ( – Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Jews, and Muslims are uniting to support a proposed pro-life amendment to Colombia’s constitution, according to the secretary general of the country’s Catholic bishops’ conference.

Secretary General Juan Vicente Córdoba, told Colombia’s El Comercio newspaper that the religious groups would collect signatures supporting the initiative, which would then be presented to the government by the nation’s Conservative Party, which is a partner in the current government and is promoting the amendment.

“We want senators and representatives to bring the signatures of millions of Colombians who are in favor of the defense of life,” said Cordoba.

This past November the Conservative Party promised to “introduce a constitutional reform bill to do away with abortion in Colombia.”

“It seems to us that the right to life should be preserved,” said Conservative Party President José Darío Salazar at the time. “Colombian society is a Catholic, Christian society and we are going to reform the constitution.”

Although the Colombian constitution already says that the right to life is “inviolable,” the new legislation would add the phrase “from conception to natural death.”

The nation’s Supreme Court has recently created exceptions to the country’s pro-life legislation, requiring hospitals, including private Catholic institutions, to perform abortions in rape or fetal deformity cases, or cases when there is threat to the life of the mother.  At least one Catholic hospital has already been fined by the government for refusing to comply, and a doctor has been fined and suspended for the same reason.

The Supreme Court has even gone so far as to order all hospitals to maintain an abortionist physician on staff to perform the deadly procedure, an order that was suspended by Colombia’s Council of State in 2009.


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