Across Colombia, half a million march for life after court decriminalizes abortion

A February 2022 pro-life march in Bogota. A February 2022 pro-life march in Bogota. | Unidos por la Vida

Across Colombia, around half a million people marched on Sunday to defend the lives of the unborn, rejecting the recent ruling of the Constitutional Court decriminalizing abortion up to six months of pregnancy.

The United for Life platform said Feb. 27 that "the rejection of the five judges of the Court who voted for the ruling that allows abortion up to six months, without any limits" was "overwhelming.”

"Their immediate resignation is being demanded and that the ruling be annulled because it goes against Article 11 of the Constitution, international accords and treaties, and the Court's own jurisprudence," the group said in a statement.

On Feb.  21, the Constitutional Court of Colombia voted 5-4 that abortion “will only be punishable when performed after the twenty-fourth (24) week of pregnancy and, in any case, this time limit will not apply to the three grounds established in judgment C-355 of 2006,” which are risk to the life of the mother, sexual abuse, or fetal deformity.

Jesús Magaña, president of United for Life, told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language sister news agency, that on Feb. 27 around 500,000 people marched in some 70 cities in the country. In Bogotá's Plaza de Bolívar alone, between 70,000 and 100,000 citizens gathered, he said.

All the country's pro-life associations and people of different religions took part in the marches, which took place in an atmosphere "of great distress and indignation but at the same time of joy and enthusiasm," United for Life said.

During the Feb. 27 rally, a "Manifesto for the Defense of Life" was made public, stating that the Colombian people "are hurt, in great pain, because they don’t accept these five people imposing on the country a death sentence."

Colombia "will not rest until the right to life is restored and guaranteed from the moment of fertilization until natural death."

“The Colombian people will fight for this disastrous ruling to be annulled. We will use all the legal, political, cultural and social means that the rule of law offers us to precisely restore the right to life, which has been systematically violated by the rulings of the Constitutional Court for decades,” the manifesto states.

It also calls on the five judges who handed down the sentence, Antonio José Lizarazo Ocampo, José Fernando Reyes, Julio Andrés Ossa, Diana Fajardo, and the outgoing Alberto Rojas, to "resign their posts and be removed from any public office, and that they also answer in court before the people for this abuse of power.”

“We welcome mothers who are going through unexpected or difficult pregnancies and we demand that they be given all the information and support from the State through public policies that allow them to carry their pregnancy to a successful conclusion,” the manifesto continues.

The declaration calls on the country  "to rethink the role and function of the Constitutional Court, which has become a body which breaks the balance of powers, destroys the democratic system, constantly and without limits distorts the Constitution that it swore to protect, thus betraying the reason for which it was created, which is fundamentally to safeguard it.”

“Colombia is a country that loves and respects life, that doesn’t want new violence worked up in the offices of the Constitutional Court, especially which allows and promotes the massacre of our unborn babies. We will continue to mobilize until this massacre is stopped,” the manifesto concludes.

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