Thursday November 11, 2010

Prominent Political Party Launches Campaign to Restore Right to Life in Colombia

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

COLOMBIA, November 10, 2010 ( – The new leader of Colombia’s influential Conservative Party has announced plans to push for a pro-life amendment to the nation’s constitution, saying that “it is necessary to prevent those children who are in the wombs of their mothers from being ripped apart by the pincers of abortion.”

“In March we’re going to introduce a constitutional reform bill to do away with abortion in Colombia,” said Conservative Party President José Darío Salazar in a press conference. “It seems to us that the right to life should be preserved. Colombian society is a Catholic, Christian society and we are going to reform the constitution.”

“The right to life [in the Colombian Constitution] is ‘inviolable’ and we are going to add ‘from conception to natural death’ to that,” said Salazar, who also stated that “an unborn person isn’t at fault for being the product of a rape or for having a deformity.”

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.”

Since the ruling, Colombia’s right-wing government has required all hospitals, including private Catholic hospitals, to perform abortions in the cases exempted from criminal prosecution by the Constitutional Court, and officials have fined at least one Catholic hospital for refusing to comply.

The Constitutional Court has also ordered the government of Colombia to create a course on “sexual and reproductive rights” for elementary and high school students to teach them about their “right” to an abortion. The program, which is currently being implemented, also teaches children about homosexuality, masturbation, and gender ideology beginning in early childhood, according to the Catholic news agency ACI Prensa. Massive protests against the program are scheduled to begin tomorrow.

| Send Letter to Editor