Ordoñez rectified and retracted the controversial abortion claims on Wednesday, but also asked for the High Court’s ruling to be revoked.
The inspector, a strict defender of traditional Catholic family values, was ordered last week to publicly rectify a statement in which he called sexual education campaigns “mass campaigns to promote abortion as a right,” he was also ordered to modify his office’s official stance that the use of the morning-after pill constitutes abortion.
In Colombia abortion is only allowed in cases that involve rape, danger to the mother’s life, or in the case that the child will be born with severe defects.
In his statement on Wednesday the Inspector General instructed the offending sentence in the 2009 press release, “a mass campaign to promote abortion,” to be changed to, “a mass campaign to promote sexual and reproductive rights.”
The statement also clarifies that the “declarations offered on December 7, 2009 to newspaper El Espectaor is not the official position of the Inspector General of the nation because it doesn’t have the formalities that give it that character.”
With regard to the contraceptive pill which the Inspector General had said promotes abortion, the statement said that the official position of the Inspector General of the Nation is that, “in Colombia the emergency contraception pill (i) is non-abortive contraception (ii) is not restricted by the laws which decriminalize abortion, (iii) the women who use it outside the parameters of decriminalized abortion do not incur, in any situation, the crime of abortion and, (iv) it is part of the health and reproductive services the women of Colombia can freely choose.”
The Inspector General also retracted completely the 2010 circular in which he opened the door for medical practitioners to conscientiously object to performing abortions in lawful cases.
After the Inspector General said he “had complied fully with the order of the Constitutional Court,” the official accepted the resignations of the two female solicitors who resigned when the court asked for the claims to be rectified.
But the Inspector General said the debate was not over and that on Thursday he would submit an appeal to “invalidate the judgement of the court because of serious inconsistencies with the content.”
In his declaration the official also said that he would seek to have the Congress of the Republic “initiate a process which will result in a law of the Republic to regulate the precise subject before us today.”
The Inspector General added that he would bring a motion before the Council of State to invalidate the administrative acts in relation to the case, in particular referring to the subject of conscientious objection. “This means the debate is not over, this judicial and scientific discussion will continue.”