July 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A coalition of religious and conservative groups in Colombia have collected a mind-boggling four million signatures in favor of a pro-life amendment to the nation’s constitution, according to the Spanish-language Catholic news agency ACI Prensa.
The agency reports that it was informed of the figure by Monsignor Juan Vicente Córdoba, the Secretary General of the Colombian Episcopal Conference, on July 18.
As LifeSiteNews has previously reported, the amendment is being supported by a broad coalition of political and religious organizations. Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims in Colombia have come together to support the amendment, which would protect the right to life from conception until natural death.
The proposal has been spearheaded by José Darío Salazar, president of the nation’s Conservative Party, although it is backed by members of other parties as well.
The new amendment will seek to overturn a 2006 ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court eliminating criminal penalties for abortions in cases of rape, fetal deformity, or danger to the life of the mother, despite the constitution’s article 11, which states that “The right to life is inviolable. There will be no death penalty.”
The Colombian government has since sought to require all hospitals, including Catholic institutions, to perform such abortions. The government has fined at least one Catholic hospital for refusing to do so.
Córdoba told ACI Prensa that the massive response to the petition drive shows that there is “popular support” for the amendment and that the “the sense of the people” is in favor of the pro-life position.