Colombia Court Decriminalizes Abortion

Women in Colombia celebrate the court’s vote. (Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters)

Colombia’s constitutional court voted Monday to decriminalize abortion in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, a transformative shift for the majority-Catholic country and the latest sign of a turning tide in Latin America.

The ruling makes Colombia the third large country in the region to decriminalize the procedure in slightly more than a year, after Mexico and Argentina, a development that appeared unlikely just a few years ago. Abortion rights activists said it could fuel further gains for abortion rights in the region.

As the final vote was confirmed on Monday afternoon, large crowds of abortion rights supporters celebrated outside the court in the capital of Bogotá, waving green scarves as they jumped up and down, shouting, “It’s legal, it’s legal, abortion in Colombia is legal!”

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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Samantha Schmidt and Diana Durán