.- The Bishops’ Conference of Colombia has rejected a proposal being debated in Congress and argued before the Constitutional Court to legalize abortion in that country, saying the issue is not a matter of privacy, as “the legitimate rights of the woman over her body end where the rights of the unborn child in her womb begin.”
Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro of Tunja and President of the Conference said, “Abortion is not a matter of privacy because it carries with it the interests and rights of others,” affecting not only the lives of the parents but also “the unity of the human species,” and there is no legitimate reason to “dispose of human life as if it were a thing.”
Referring specifically to the law being debated in Colombia, the archbishop explained that the baby is “a distinct being from the mother” and begins “to live his own life at the moment of conception,” and therefore the legalization of abortion would contradict the Colombian constitution, which recognizes the inviolable character of the right to life.
“Allowing abortion to be legalized in certain cases—such as rape or non-consensual sex—is to give legitimacy to the State’s refusal to effectively carry out its duties regarding human life,” the body of bishops stated. They expressed their hope that those involved in the debate would respect the country’s laws and would freely and conscientiously exercise their responsibilities.
Archbishop Tunja called on the government to study alternatives that would protect pregnant women in difficult situations.