Colombia’s Highest Court Rejects Case Calling for Legalization of Abortion

By John-Henry Westen

BOGOTA, December 8, 2005 ( - The highest court in Colombia, the Constitutional Court, has rejected a case brought by Colombian native and abortion activist Monica Roa to legalize abortion. She argued that international agreements required Colombia to legalize abortion in certain circumstances.

The court did not rule on the case but rejected it as flawed, since the complaint filed lacked sufficient arguments to allow for a ruling. The rejection of the case, rather than a ruling against it has left the door open for another attempt by abortion activists to bring forward their cause in the courts.

Roa, an attorney with Women’s Link Worldwide has, according to sources in Colombia, significant backing from US/international pro-abortion groups, including the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, Human Rights Watch, and others.Â

In a speech in New York earlier this year, Roa revealed her agenda to legalize abortion first by allowing the procedure in exceptional cases. The case rejected yesterday by the Constitutional Court sought to legalize abortion in cases of rape, to save the life of the mother, and when the unborn child was expected to die shortly after birth due to genetic abnormalities.

Roa was also found out to have been spearheading a duplicitous media and legal campaign, organizing a number of groups to submit amicus briefs to the court and hiring a media consultant to sell the notion of abortion to the public. One example of the strategy was to get more radically liberal lawyers to castigate Roa in the press for not going far enough, a move that would serve to placate the conservative public and convince them of the moderateness of her efforts.

The plans were so impressive that one student called her a “one woman dis-information campaign.”

Colombian pro-life lawyers, aided by pro-life lawyers throughout the Americas challenged Roa’s position but were concerned that the courts would rule in Roa’s favour as late as last month.

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