As a law student who suspended his studies to deal with the situation, Medina had lost his emergency appeal for guardianship. The judge in the case requested the psychological examination from Palta's healthcare provider which had earlier determined she was not experiencing psychological trauma but was confused. Instead, ProFamila sent the judge a psychological evaluation conducted by a gynecologist, not by a psychologist or a psychiatrist, who verified that an abortion could be done on the grounds of the mental health of the mother.
The judge ruled that that evaluation was insufficient and ordered a new one. However, ProFamilia, an affiliate of International Federation of Planned Parenthood, ignored the order and went ahead with the abortion, claiming it was a "fundamental right" and that, according to National Health Services guidelines, it should normally be done within five days.
In a Feb. 11 statement, the Colombian bishops' conference said that "in addition to the pain of knowing that Juan Sebastián was already past seven months gestation and that he was in perfect health, we have been perplexed by how the institutions of this country did not guarantee the rights of the father who persistently and tenaciously fought for the life of his son through the applicable channels."
"We join the suffering of Juan Sebastián's family, especially that of his parents, and the pain that so many brothers feel for this tragic event."
The bishops also called abortion "an injustice that cries out to heaven."
Prayer vigils and rallies were held outside ProFamilia clinics Feb. 11 in Bogotá, Cartagena, Medellín, and other cities.
Jesús Magaña, president of the United for Life platform, told ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language news partner, that "we're in a very serious situation promoted and supported by seven judges on the Constitutional Court."
Magaña said that "it's impossible for this to continue happening."
"We call on the Congress of the Republic of Colombia to take action on the matter and we call on the Constitutional Court to stop its judicial activism and once again respect the Constitution."
Medina want to know what happened to his son's body and wants to recover it for a Christian burial.
Columbia's Constitutional Court legalized abortion in 2006 in cases of rape, fetal deformities and when a doctor determines there is a risk to the life or health of the mother. In a 2018 ruling, the court affirmed its 2006 decision, and declared abortion to be a "human right," and asked the government to issue further regulations defining the legal circumstances for abortions to be performed. The Ministry of Health is currently working on developing those regulations.
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Natalia Bernal Cano, a doctor of constitutional law, filed two lawsuits last year seeking to recognize the unborn as having human rights and to completely ban abortion on the grounds that it "does serious harm to the babies and the pregnant mothers" involved.
A version of this story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.