Profamilia – an IPPF Member Association and the leading sexual and reproductive rights organization in Colombia – is celebrating the first anniversary of the decriminalization of abortion across the country.
The move - Ruling C-055 - which allows abortion up to 24 weeks of gestation under any circumstance is saving lives across Colombia, and means those who have an abortion no longer face prosecution or criminalization. A historic step for the rights of women and pregnant people both in the country and across Latin America.
Over the last year, Profamilia via its nationwide network of more than 50 clinics has helped guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights, focusing on providing safe abortion care services in person as well as the provision of telemedicine for rural women.
For a country which sees 132,000 cases annually of complications from unsafe abortions and 70 women lose their lives each year – the shift in focus to abortion as a public health issue means healthcare providers can now focus on providing life-saving care and ending unsafe abortion.
Alongside the ruling, the Ministry of Health, has also regulated abortion services throughout Colombia via Resolution 051, reiterating that abortion is an essential and urgent health service, which women, including migrant women, and pregnant people (transgender men, trans masculinities, non-binary people, among others) must be able to access without restriction and for free. Further rulings also embeds the provision of sexual and reproductive health information into Colombian health services.
Marta Royo, the Executive Director of ProFamilia, said:
"Profamilia's commitment will always be to provide comprehensive, humanized and safe services that allow free and informed decision making, and we reiterate this today”
"After one year it is possible to see the progress the country has made in terms of reproductive autonomy and rights for women and pregnant people. However, we must move from text to action, and ensure that decriminalization means healthcare. Profamilia's commitment will always be to provide comprehensive, humanized and safe services that allow free and informed decision making."