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Case Study on Colombia: Judicial Standards on Abortion to Advance the Agenda of the Cairo Programme of Action

This paper is part of a line of research which has been developed over a number of years by the Bureau for the Life and Health of Women in Colombia, aimed at identifying and analyzing progress concerning the rights of women requesting voluntary termination of pregnancy, or abortion, particularly through the monitoring of judicial rulings. The text addresses four key issues. Firstly, it highlights the commitments under the Program of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development relating to access to abortion and reproductive health protection. Secondly, the paper briefly examines laws on abortion and health exception (causal salud) in Latin America and the Caribbean. Thirdly, it contextualizes abortion in Colombia and discusses progress on abortion jurisprudence by Colombia´s Constitutional Court regarding the right to health and other related fundamental rights. Fourthly, it describes a set of judicial standards set by the Constitutional Court in relation to abortion and other fundamental rights to be applied in Latin America. Original in Spanish. Translated by John Penney.

Received in March 2013. Accepted in November 2013.