‘Causa Justa’ at last: Colombia decriminalizes abortion up to 24 weeks

Demonstrators and activists for the decriminalization of abortion filled the street in front of the courthouse in Bogotá in celebration on Feb. 22, 2022, one day after the Colombian Constitutional Court legalized abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

BOGOTÁ, Colombia—Demonstrators and activists for the decriminalization of abortion filled the street in front of the courthouse in Bogotá in celebration on Feb. 22, 2022, one day after the Colombian Constitutional Court legalized abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

In Colombia, abortion has been legal in cases of rape or incest, unviability of the fetus, and risk to the mother’s life or health since 2006.

However, the country’s Penal Code continued to classify abortion as a crime with a penalty of up to 54 months in prison, without adjusting to the 2006 ruling. Stigma and this ambiguity created barriers to access even when a case met the legal requirements.

Advocacy organization Causa Justa has led this movement to decriminalize abortion in Colombia for the last several years. More than 500 days passed from their lawsuit filing and the court’s decision on Feb. 22.

All photos by Mariana Delgado Barón

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Freelance journalist interested in investigative journalism, migration, armed conflict, political violence, peacebuilding, transitional justice, human rights and development. I have experience working in the field with communities affected by the armed conflict in Colombia, in the reconstruction of the memories of victims and survivors. Political scientist and doctor in Social Sciences. I live in Bogota.

marianadelgadobaron.com