Colombia’s inspector general has tried to utilize a World Health Organization (WHO) report that he claims helps justify his opposition to the abortion pill, various local media reported Thursday.
The report focused on the abortion pill Misoprostol, a drug Alejandro Ordoñez has argued against being included in Colombia’s compulsory health plan. Elements of the WHO’s report support the inspector general’s concerns by raising certain concerns as to the risks associated with taking the pill.
However, the former constitutional magistrate Rodrigo Uprimny has alleged that the report put forward by Ordoñez does not tell the whole story, claiming that inspector Maria Eugenia Carreño “conveniently edited the report” to suit the needs of the Inspector General’s Office, therefore ignoring the parts of the report praising Misoprostol’s safety and effectiveness.
Uprimny says that when read as a whole, the report actually suggests that the drug is “safe, effective and acceptable” in 98% of first trimester abortions but that the Inspector General’s Office had edited the findings so as to highlight only the 2% of cases where women experienced problems from taking Misoprostol.
Uprimny reiterates that in fact the WHO had previously listed the drug on its official list of essential medicines for the early termination of pregnancy, its only controversy being Misoprostol’s use in the prevention of post-natal bleeding, not abortion.
As a result, Uprimny claims that the way the report has been edited borders on breaking the law and only serves to hide the truth, which is that Misoprostol is essential.
Ordoñez, an “outspoken Catholic,” has opposed abortion in the past and argues that the Misoprostol drug is not essential to public health.
Colombia currently allows abortion in cases of rape, severe fetal deformity, or if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. However, as La Terra newspaper writes, ever since he became inspector general, Ordoñez has embarked on a campaign to overturn the Constitutional Court’s ruling that legalizes abortion in these cases.
The compulsory health plan in which the pill may be included, is a scheme used by Colombia’s private medical insurers to provide a minimum level of healthcare services to its customers.
This month, the regulatory commission on health will make a final decision as to whether or not Misopotrol will be included in the list of compulsory health plan services.