Officials block plans to build abortion clinic in Colombian city

.- Colombian officials recently blocked plans to build an abortion clinic in the city of Medellin.

The Colombian Department of Antioquia’s Secretary for Health, Carlos Mario Rivera Escobar, said officials decided against the proposal on Nov. 25 because “there is no need for the kind of clinic that has been suggested either in Medellin or in the metropolitan area.”

He said the women's clinic was presented as a facility that would offer “limited gynecological care,” a need that is already being sufficiently met by the Medellin General Hospital and the local health care system.  “This is a proposal to do something that is already being done,” Rivera noted.

The proposal called for nearly $8 million in taxpayer funds to build the clinic.

The Antioquia Pro-Life Network called the decision to block the construction “a triumph for citizens and a 'yes' to life.”  The organization’s executive director, Lina Marcela Zapata, said thousands of Colombians “have spoken out against this project that was intended to be an attack on women, life and the family.”

She urged officials in Antioquia to heed the will of the people and remain committed to the defense of life, women and the family by “promoting public policies that are of benefit to the community and lead to respect for human dignity.”

In Colombia, pro-life leaders are gaining ground in their fight to overturn the 2007 ruling by the Constitutional Court legalizing abortion.  The ruling allows for abortion in cases of rape, fetal deformation or to protect the life of the mother.  The court also ruled that schools must teach students that abortion is a “right.”  Thousands of Colombians have voiced their opposition to the decision.

On Oct. 27 the country's bishops met with a group of politicians who put forth a measure last March that would modify the country’s Constitution to protect human life from conception to natural death.

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