Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez claimed that the constitutional court’s high tribunal was wrong to change abortion laws in 2006, during a recent discussion held at Universidad Javeriana, a private Catholic institution located in Bogota.
The inspector general added that the court does not have a clear idea of when life begins and that judges should think about the large number of children that have died as a result of the court’s ruling, five years ago, that changed constitutional laws governing abortion.
The court’s 2006 ruling made abortion legal in the three exceptional cases of congenital malformation of the fetus, serious risk of death for the mother, and pregnancy as a result of sexual violation.
“Nobody can be shocked if I say that we have mixed up the social state of law with the social state of desire,” said the inspector general, at the event commemorating 20 years under the current constitution, Caracol Radio reported.
The statement sparked former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria to immeditately rebuke Ordoñez, demanding that he respect decisions of the court that fall outside his own beliefs.
“Inspector, you can have your beliefs, you can be an excellent inspector general in command, but in the interpretation of the laws you have to embrace the sentences given by the constitutional court; your opinions cannot predominate.”
Ordoñez has been known in the past for his strongly anti-abortion stance, and most recently for his severe and even misleading opposition to inclusion of the abortion pill Misoprostol in Colombia’s compulsory health plan.
His most recent statements drew support from Vice President Angelino Garzon, who defended the inspector general from the criticism he has received “as if it were a crime to be Catholic or defend Christian principles.”