The Catholic Church in Colombia is throwing its support behind a constitutional amendment that would protect human life from conception to natural death.
The amendment to the country's constitution must be passed twice in both the House and the Senate in order for it to be ratified.
The secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba, spoke with CNA on March 3. He explained that the bishops would support lawmakers “with signatures, verbal support – through the media and with our prayers – and above all by encouraging them so that they are not alone.”
He said the amendment is “an endeavor involving many political parties and all religions, not only the Catholic Church.”
If it is passed, he noted, “the three exceptions allowing abortion will be outlawed,” as well as the morning-after pill, euthanasia and contraceptive patches.
Bishop Cordoba reminded the Constitutional Court, which legalized abortion in 2006 in cases of rape, fetal deformation and to save the life of the mother, that “73 percent of Colombians do not accept abortion,” according to recent polls. He urged the members of the court to refrain from legislating against human life.
“You must not vote or do things based only on the opinions of the eight or nine of you,” he told them. “Remember you are representing a nation that has a specific culture, beliefs, religion and values, and the majority do not want these laws against life,” he said.
Bishop Cordoba told CNA, “Signatures are currently being collected at all the parishes in Colombia. I think we will have millions of signatures collected at parishes this weekend and on Ash Wednesday.” The petitions will be delivered to lawmakers supporting the amendment in the House and Senate as evidence of the will of the Colombian people, he said.
These lawmakers “themselves asked to speak to the bishops’ conference,” to say they were “Catholics and evangelical Christians committed to Colombians in support of the country’s constitution that defends life and the family,” the bishop said.
“Right now they are working on drafting this legislative act in order to present it in a clear, objective and legal way,” he stated.
The measure is being presented “from a legal, anthropological, ethical and natural law point of view, and somewhat from the perspective of the faith. But above all, it is based on the natural law,” the bishop stated.