BOGOTÁ, October 13, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A committee of the Colombian National Congress has decided to reject consideration of a proposed right-to-life amendment to the nation’s constitution, despite a massive petition in favor of the measure signed by an estimated 10% of the country’s population.
The First Commission of the Senate, which is charged with overseeing constitutional matters voted 9-7 yesterday to shelve the proposal, a committee member told the Associated Press.
The senator, a member of the pro-abortion Alternative Democratic Pole, called it a “victory for the Constitution of 1991 and the Constitutional Court.”
Although the nation’s constitution already protects the right to life, calling it “inviolable,” the amendment would have added “from fertilization to natural death.”
The country’s Inspector General, Alejandro Ordoñez, a devout Catholic, called the decision to shelve the amendment a “strong blow to life,” saying, “if the unborn life is not respected, we are going to expect everyone in a society to increasingly insist on individualistic and hedonistic activities,” according to Colombiareports.com
The measure was proposed in response to recent rulings from Colombia’s Constitutional Court striking down prohibitions on abortions in fetal deformity and rape cases.
The ruling has since been used to justify executive orders requiring institutions to perform the deadly procedure, and the Constitutional Court has also mandated abortion-friendly sexual education classes in the nation’s schools.
At least one Catholic hospital has been fined for refusing to kill an unborn child in a rape case.
The effort to amend the Constitution was supported by a petition drive conducted by a variety of religious groups on Colombia, including Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Muslims, and Jews.
The petition drive gathered an estimated five million signatures, comprising ten percent of the population of Colombia.