Weekly Report - 24 February 2022 (WR-22-08)

COLOMBIA: Crucial abortion ruling could impact election result

Colombia’s constitutional court (CC) issued a seminal ruling this week decriminalising abortion up to 24 weeks’ gestation. The ruling could not have come at a much more delicate juncture: right in the middle of the congressional and presidential election campaigns. The governing right-wing Centro Democrático (CD) was fiercely critical of the ruling and will be hoping that it might help the party gain some traction in the presidential race in which its candidate, Oscar Iván Zuluaga, is a long way adrift of the current frontrunner, Gustavo Petro, of the left-wing Pacto Histórico coalition. Petro was circumspect. Conscious of the risk of alienating supporters by coming down firmly on either side of the debate, he celebrated the fact that women would no longer be criminalised but called for better education to help prevent the problem from arising in the first place.

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