During a public audience at the Colombian Senate last week, the Institute on Family Policy of Colombia said the high rate of maternal mortality in the country is not due to illegal abortion, and therefore it should not be considered a public health problem, as it has been categorized by abortion supporters.
The Institute was responding to the comments by the government’s Director of Public Health, Lenis Urquijo, who said that international statistics confirm that in countries where abortion is legal, there is a lower index of maternal deaths as the procedure is performed under safe conditions.
According to Urquijo, 25% of maternal deaths in Colombia are directly related to abortion. But Maria Carolina Ortegon of the Institute on Family Policy maintained that in “the case of Colombia, there is no correlation between maternal mortality and abortion, and moreover there is no scientific basis to claim that a more liberal abortion policy leads to a decrease in maternal mortality.”
Former Senator Carlos Corsi Otalora, president of the political movement Laity for Colombia, lamented the contradictory messages coming from the country’s President regarding abortion. “President Uribe reiterates that he does not agree with abortion in special cases, while his wife, the First Lady, is calling for its legalization.”