Representatives from five of Colombia’s religious denominations, including the Catholic Church, urged lawmakers to amend the Constitution to institute a complete ban on abortions Thursday.
The Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Evangelical, and Greek Orthodox churches as well as many other religious groups issued a statement that called on Congress to ban abortions in cases of rape, endangerment to the mother, or significant fetal deformation, the only circumstances under which abortions are currently permitted under Colombian law.
The statement said that the churches were acting out of concern for the “principle of the inviolability of human life” and called abortion “the ultimate failure of the social state of law in its public policies for women, families and children.”
When asked about the current circumstances justifying abortions in Colombia, Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba replied, “That does not interest me, that [the mother] becomes sick, that someone raped [the mother], punish the rapist but there is no need to punish the baby; that the child will be sick, who said that mothers were killing sick babies, on the contrary they should give them more life and love.”
The churches’ statement was made in response to a push by Colombia’s Conservative Party to amend the constitution to ban abortion in all cases. Conservatives have claimed to receive 5 million signatures for a petition urging lawmakers to ban all abortions in Colombia.