Vote on Decriminalization of Abortion in Colombian Court Ties

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Manifestantes participam de protesto contra a descriminalização do aborto, em frente à Corte Constitucional da Colômbia, em Bogotá, 18 de novembro

Protesters participate in a protest against the decriminalization of abortion, in front of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, in Bogotá, 17 from November| Photo: EFE/ Carlos Ortega

The judges of the Constitutional Court of Colombia voted this Thursday to remove the crime of abortion from the Penal Code and the decision ended in a tie, which is why another judge will soon have to decide whether or not the procedure should be decriminalized.

Four judges (Alberto Rojas, José F. Reyes, Antonio J. Lizarazo and Diana Fajardo) voted in favor of decriminalization , while Cristina Pardo, Paola Meneses, Gloria Ortiz and Jorge Ibañez voted against, informed the Efe Agency organizations that presented a case in court.

Now, the Full Room will have to choose the person who will decide the tiebreaker by lot among the judges designated in the Constitutional Court. The decision may be extended for an indefinite period.

Abortion in Colombia is currently only allowed in three cases: when there is a risk to the health or life of the mother; when it results from rape or incest; or if the fetus has a severe malformation. In other cases, the procedure is punishable by up to four and a half years in prison.

The Constitutional Court analyzes two processes to remove abortion as a crime from the Penal Code and decriminalize it.

However, the issue was postponed in November last year , when, two days before the deadline for the judges to reach a decision, one of them, Alejandro Linares, asked to be barred on grounds of possible impartiality after having made a statement to a media outlet.

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