The Pandemic And Legal Abortion: What Happens When Access Is Limited?
June 8, 2020
Isabella Gomez Sarmiento
In April, Johanna Cruz terminated her pregnancy with drugs obtained through a telemedicine consultation.
Abortion is legal in Colombia. And Cruz, a street performer from Chile who was backpacking through the Colombian state of Antioquia, did not feel she was in a position to raise a child. She didn't have a steady income or stable housing. And with stay-at-home orders in place to control the spread of coronavirus, she found herself facing homelessness in the town of San Rafael and unable to travel to Medellin, the nearest city with an abortion clinic.
From Poland To Uruguay, What The Pandemic Means For Abortion
Michaela Kozminova, WORLDCRUNCH
Across the globe, swamped hospitals and shelter-in-place measures have impacted people's access to healthcare for any number of non-COVID-19 issues. One of them is abortion, a time sensitive procedure that is also — even the best of times — both emotionally and politically charged.
Now, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, some countries have used emergency decrees to change their policies related to pregnancy terminations. While several have extended access to abortions in an effort to ease pressure on women and guarantee their rights, others have seen the situation as an opportunity to make abortions more difficult to access.
Colombia drops FARC’s mass forced abortion claim after 5 years
by Adriaan Alsema
May 10, 2020
A former guerrilla associate was sentenced to 40 years in prison for carrying out forced abortions on former ELN and ERG guerrillas, according to the prosecution, which had blamed the FARC for years.
In a press release, a judge in the city of Pereira confirmed Hector Albeidis Arboleda carried out forced abortions for demobilized rebel group ERG and the active ELN guerrillas.
Pandemic further hinders safe abortion in Latin America
By Carlos Christian
April 9, 2020
Calls decreased, but text messages increased. They cannot speak because they hear them. They cannot say in front of their families that they seek help, that they need to abort. Las Comadres, a feminist network in Ecuador that provides information to women who want to terminate their pregnancies with drugs, has had to change its communication channels in recent weeks. Telephone calls are becoming increasingly difficult. Isolation, imposed as a mitigation measure by Covid-19, has limited the freedom of those seeking access to an abortion, but not the determination of those who are determined to do so.
Verónica Vera, one of the sixty Ecuadorians who responds to requests for accompaniment, now through platforms such as Telegram, says that in March requests for support increased by 25%. Women who want to abort will do so even in a health emergency, and the public health system in Latin America seems not ready to respond. “The difficulty of mobilizing due to the measures adopted by the pandemic, the collapsed medical services and the lack of privacy within prolonged confinements could lead to a setback in Latin America,” he warns.
Lockdown in Colombia will affect the right to abortion, says human rights lawyer
What happens when a woman has to terminate her pregnancy during lockdown?
Translation posted 3 April 2020
Although necessary for the health protection of citizens, measures taken by the Colombian government to contain the COVID-19 infection, including the national lockdown and closing the borders, may hinder the access of Colombian and Venezuelan women to services that are essential to their sexual and reproductive health.
“In times of pandemic, women will still require the services necessary for accessing safe abortions, emergency contraception, and protection from sexual violence and abuse,” Selene Soto, a lawyer from the Women’s Link Worldwide organization in Bogota, told Global Voices.
Colombia was close to legalizing abortion. Instead, a top court kept restrictions in place.
By Miriam Berger
March 3, 2020
Colombia’s constitutional court ruled Monday to keep the country’s abortion restrictions in place, dashing the hopes of activists pushing for a decision that could have made it the first and most populous state in Latin America to legalize abortions during the first 16 weeks of a pregnancy.
The decision “was a missed opportunity to stand on the right side of history to provide Colombian women and girls safe access to abortion,” human rights lawyer Paula Avila-Guillen said in a statement. She described the current law as “poorly regulated and rarely implemented,” such that for “women who have been victims of sexual abuse or face economic barriers, access to abortion is almost impossible, which puts their lives at risk.
Colombia Court Keeps Restrictive Abortion Law in Place
Abortion rights advocates had hoped that a top court might legalize the procedure and herald a shift in Latin America. Instead, it left abortion illegal in most cases.
By Julie Turkewitz
March 2, 2020
BOGOTÁ, Colombia — A top court in Colombia declined to legalize abortion on Monday, disappointing abortion rights supporters who had hoped the case would herald a shift in Latin America and encourage other nations in the region to liberalize their laws.
“The court lost an opportunity,” said Mariana Ardila, a lawyer who was pushing for legalization, “to change the lives of women.”
Continued : https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/world/americas/colombia-abortion.html
Abortion access will not expand in Colombia, court rules
Colombian court shuts down landmark abortion case, but renews debate on legalisation, women's rights activists say.
by Megan Janetsky
Mar 2, 2020
Bogota - Colombia's Constitutional Court shut down a landmark abortion case on Monday that divided the South American country and offered what experts called an opportunity to "set a precedent for the region".
For 14 years, Colombian law allowed for abortions under three circumstances: if the mother's life was endangered, if the pregnancy was a product of rape or if the fetus is fatally deformed.
Colombia court poised to make historic abortion ruling
Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation
February 24, 2020
BOGOTA, Feb 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A top court in Colombia is set to rule on whether women can seek legal abortions during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, a highly anticipated decision in a region with some of the world’s strictest reproductive rights laws.
Abortion in Colombia is only allowed if a mother’s life is at risk, if a fetus is malformed or if the pregnancy is a result of rape.
An Anti-Abortion Activist Tried to Make Colombia's Abortion Law More Restrictive. Here's Why That Could Backfire
By Ciara Nugent
February 19, 2020
A case brought to Colombia’s top court by anti-abortion campaigner Natalia Bernal Cano could transform the country’s abortion law when the verdict is announced in the next few weeks – but perhaps not in the way she hoped.
Since a 2006 ruling by Colombia’s powerful Constitutional Court, women have been allowed to terminate a pregnancy in cases of rape or incest, fatal fetal abnormality, or danger to the physical or mental health of the mother.