Women’s rights organizations: IG not qualified on abortion issue

posted by Neda Vanovac

Colombia news - Alejandro Ordoñez

Colombia’s National Women’s Network asked the country’s Senate to discuss politically controlling Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez for what they described as weaknesses in the abortion issue, and if necessary, be asked to resign.

Sisma Mujer’s representative Claudia Mejia does not feel that the Inspector General is qualified to perform the work as representative of society, considering that he ignores international treaties, Carcacol Radio reports.

Mejia added that Ordoñez’s fondness for expressions such as “damn the critics” have polarized the country even further on the already divisive issue of abortion.

Colombia’s State Council Thursday suspended the decree permitting abortion in three special circumstances (rape, malformed foetus or if the pregnancy is life-threatening to the mother) after Ordoñez, a devout Catholic and public opponent of abortion, claimed that the law needed to be clarified, and furthermore attacked a ruling by the Constitutional Court forcing the government to develop public awareness campaigns on the reproductive and sexual rights of women.

Beatriz Quintero, coordinator of Life and Health as part of the National Women’s Network, said that Ordoñez and his delegate for children and adolescents, Ilva Miriam Hoyos, were part of an anti-abortion movement before taking their current positions.

The women’s representatives said that Ordoñez was not elected for his beliefs, and that he was ignoring the fact that Colombia is a secular country.

They also said that in the face of this situation, they will ask the Senate to take responsibility for electing Ordoñez to office, knowing his radical position on various issues [which come to bear on his rulings].

A number of associations for women’s rights have said that they support requesting the Senate to answer for its actions.

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