The Colombian government on Tuesday defended before Congress a decision for abortions to be paid for by the State.
Ministers for health and the interior, Alejandro Gaviria and Fernando Carrillo, said that the Court had already taken a position and that this should be respected. “That is the idea and the rule of constitutional control,” said the interior minister.
Senator Jose Dario Salazar, who has been calling for a referendum to ban all abortion, ordered the debate on political control on the practice because he said that it was breaking the law and by-passing the Constitution to use public resources to fund a practice that was decriminalized by the Court.
“The government wants to include abortion in the health plan funded with public money,” said Salazar, who accused the government of committing fraud.
Salazar, who has been collecting signatures to call for a referendum against all abortion, had previously called its legalization in certain circumstances “an absurd project that goes against the Constitution and against life and human rights.”
The health minister said that the government was complying with the Court’s ruling and was protecting the fundamental rights of women, and protecting women who were victims of rape.
“This decision … [assures] … women’s right to a legal abortion independent of their ability to pay,” said Gaviria.
“We will remain committed to health as a fundamental right, not a rhetoric,” the minister added, “which means an effective enjoyment of the right of women to access health services.”
Abortion in Colombia is allowed in three cases: danger for the mother’s life, an nonviable fetus, and rape.