Bogotá, April 5, 2012 ( – The Colombian government has asked the nation’s Constitutional Court to nullify its recent decision against a health insurer that refused to permit an abortion to an underage girl, on the grounds that the decision was based on falsehoods.

The verdict, issued in 2011, nullified the decision of a lower court that had denied the supposed request for an abortion on a minor adolescent, and ordered the health care insurer to compensate the family for all supposed damages caused by not permitting the abortion, as well as the medical treatment costs of the newborn.

The General Procurator, which argues cases for the national government, notes that health care providers overseeing the girl had stated “explicitly” in its notes “that the pregnancy was accepted by the girl, her boyfriend, her parents, and that they wanted to have the child.”

In addition, the Procurator argues, the girl was falsely told that her baby was deformed, which caused her “anguish and worry.” Moreover, the child had already been born by the time the Constitutional Court took up the case.

The health insurer wasn’t even permitted to participate in the proceedings that led to the judgment against it, according to the Procurator, depriving it of due process.

The insurer “was condemned to pay for being presumably responsible of the supposed omission with regard to a medical service that did not have a basis in a medical certificate affiliated with one of its providers and that, in any case, it is not the responsibility of an insurer to provide,” the agency adds.

If the Procurator’s accusations are true, the case would be similar to those of Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano in “Roe v. Wade” and “Doe v. Bolton”, respectively, which were used by pro-abortion groups to overturn laws protecting the lives of the unborn in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973.

Norma McCorvey’s case was based in part on the false assertion, retracted later by McCorvey, that she was pregnant by rape. By the time it arrived at the Supreme Court, she had already given birth. Cano says her signature was used fraudulently by her attorneys to initiate her case, and that she never supported abortion nor sought one for herself.

Although Colombia’s Constitution states that the “right to life is inviolable” and prohibits the death penalty, an activist court has increasingly attempted to impose legal abortion on the country’s health care providers since 2008, when it ruled that abortions cannot be penalized in rape and fetal deformity cases.


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