Colombia’s Liberal Party voices opposition to the Conservative Party’s plan to include a referendum on criminalizing of abortion and the banning of gay marriage in October’s local elections.
Liberal Representative Guillermo Rivera Florez fiercely rejected the proposal to criminalize abortion without exception, stressing that scores of women are being raped in Colombia’s ongoing conflict.
“Sexual aggression against women in a conflict is considered a crime against humanity according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and still the Conservative Party wants to criminalize abortion when the pregnancy is the result of rape,” Rivera Florez told newspaper El Espectador.
Under current Colombian law, abortion is only allowed in cases of rape, when the mother’s life is in danger or when the unborn child is seriously deformed.
Regarding the Conservative Party’s proposal to ask the Colombian public about allowing gay couples the same rights as same sex couples, Rivera said it was “leaving the rights of minorities in the hands of majorities.”
According to the Liberal, the referendum “would be like consulting the Colombian people if we should continue recognizing the rights of ethnic minorities by law,” adding that “you don’t consult rights with the people, you guarantee them.”
Colombia’s National Electoral Council will have the final word on the Conservative proposal to allow the referendum to take place together with the local elections.