July 25, 2006
After five hours of intense debate, the country's House of Representatives approved a new penal code for the country.
Pro-abortion lawmakers sought to amend the code to allow abortions in cases of rape or incest but they failed to persuade enough of their colleagues to support it.
Representatives Minou Tavárez, Licelot Marte and Berenice Contreras put forward the proposal and it received support from Noah Sterling Vásquez and Luis Jose González Sanchez.
In May the highest court in Colombia weakened the South American nation's abortion law by changing it from a complete ban on abortions to allowing them in cases of rape or incest. The court also allowed abortions in very rare situations when it could be necessary to save the life of the mother.
The 5-3 ruling by the Colombia constitutional court puts the nation's abortion law in line with most other South American nations, which prohibit abortion but allow them in the rare cases.
The court also ruled that abortions could be done in cases where the baby has severe physical and mental disabilities.
Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic outreach director for the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com at the time that the decision "is a monumentous defeat for unborn children in Latin America."
El Salvador and Chile are now the only Latin American nations to completely prohibit abortions.
Rojas told LifeNews.com that abortion advocates are trying to use "the 'American approach' to legalizing abortion on demand in Colombia" by getting abortion approved in the courts.
"The ramifications for the women, the families and the children of Colombia will be as disastrous as they have been in the United States," he added.