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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
First legal abortion in Colombia
By Jeremy McDermott
BBC News, Bogota

Anti-abortion rally, Bogota, Colombia, April 2006
Many Colombians have protested against legalising abortions
Colombia's first legal abortion has taken place after the deeply-Catholic nation legalised the procedure in May.

Abortion is only permitted in three cases - if the mother's life is in danger, if the foetus is badly deformed or if the pregnancy results from rape.

This case involved an 11-year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather.

Despite the change in the law, the girl's case had to go all the way to the constitutional court before an abortion was authorised.

The tale of the abuse the girl had endured at the hands of her stepfather filled the Colombian papers and news broadcasts for weeks.

The Catholic Church nonetheless condemned the abortion and protesters gathered outside the hospital to oppose the procedure.

The subject of abortion raises passions and tempers in Colombia.

The pro-choice lobby believes that the May decision to legalise abortion in extreme cases was the first logical step to a general legalisation of abortion.

But with the fury aroused during this abortion, even under the circumstances, it is clear that such a step is still a way off.

Country profile: Colombia
04 May 06 |  Country profiles

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