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Colombian abortion ban would ban contraceptives, IVF: Congressman

posted by Alice Boyd
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A current congressional proposal to prohibit all forms of abortion in the country would also make the use of contraceptives and IVF (in vitro fertilization) illegal and subject to prosecution, a lawmaker said Tuesday.

“Infertile women could not go to the gynecologist to be assisted with fertilization because this manipulation of the embryo would also violate the law, according to the proposal,” said Senator Roy Barreras of the U Party.

The bill, proposed by Senator Manuel Enriquez, would seek to overturn a 2006 constitutional ruling that made abortion legal in Colombia in the event of rape, the endangerment of the life of the mother or the congenital malformation of the fetus.

Barreras has expressed his desire for voting on the issue to be postponed, due to the possibility that the new legislation would criminalize women who sought to utilize reproductive health measures or had been the victims of rape.

He said, “although none of us are in favor of abortion and nobody wants a mother to abort, this does not mean that we legislated happily and that we should put a woman or teenager that has been the victim of rape in prison.”

In response to the congressman’s arguments, Enriquez denied that they would criminalize the use of contraceptives or IVF. He stated that, “I do not see that Barreras is right in his assertion, I have simply focused on the fact that abortion be prohibited in all three exceptions.”

Enriquez added that “no human being in the world has the authority to interrupt the life of someone about to be born.”

Following Barreras’ objections, the Senate committee discussing the bill postponed the debate for further study.

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