General Articles

Expert says abortion was legalized in Columbia with invalid statistics

Catholic News Agency

Bogotá, Colombia, Mar 5, 2009 / 08:17 pm (CNA).- The head of the bioethics department for the University of La Sabana’s school of medicine, Pablo Arango Restrepo is claiming that advocates of abortion used exaggerated statistics and rare cases to make abortion legal in Colombia.

In exclusive statements to CNA, Arango recalled that “in May of 2006, the Constitutional Court of Colombia legalized abortion in three circumstances: when the life of the mother is in danger, when there are congenital deformities incompatible with life, and in cases of rape.” He also noted that “during the campaign to get legalization, all kinds of doctored statistics were used that referenced a supposedly enormous number of clandestine abortions. They claimed there were some 400,000 such abortions” in Colombia.

“After the legalization, the number of legal abortions has been minimal, barely one hundred, and the abortionists are the ones most surprised because it doesn’t square with their statistics,” Arango said.

“Now they have started up the campaign again to legalize abortion for any reason and these ‘inflated’ statistics have shown up once more,” he warned.

Several days ago the Colombian daily El Tiempo reported that attorney Monica Roa, who orchestrated the legalization of abortion in Colombia, “believes that some 3,000 legal abortions have taken place in Colombia since 2006,” a number that greatly surpasses the 201 abortions reported by the government last July.

Arango said that in addition to doctoring the numbers, abortion activists cite the circumstances in which abortion is legal to arbitrarily justify aborting a child. “The danger to the life of the mother [allowance] is alleged for any small circumstance that departs from the normal progression of a pregnancy; the congenital deformities incompatible with life are portrayed to be numerous, including Down’s Syndrome, which is in no way incompatible with life, and lastly cases of rape.”

Before the court ruling, he went on, “a woman who was raped had to get a medical examination corroborating the fact, and now she does not. She must only present a police report, the day of violation, or she can simply say she was raped, and she does not need to provide any medical documentation.”

Arango denounced the “campaigns against health care workers, especially doctors who are being denied the right to conscientious objection and whose future employment is being threatened.”

He warned of the presence in Colombia of pro-abortion forces who are “lying to the public, exaggerating every medical case or the case of every child who shows up pregnant.”

This way of operating, he said, is “in keeping with the style of totalitarian regimes that trample upon the human right of conscientious objection.”