The Constitutional Court of Colombia yesterday legalized abortion in cases of rape, endangerment to the woman’s life or health and conditions that would result in fetal death. At the time of the ruling, Colombia had one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, banning the procedure under all circumstances.

Research shows that restrictive abortion policies do not reduce high rates of abortion, but simply make them unsafe. One in four pregnancies in Colombia end in abortion, and nearly 30% of women seeking abortions suffer complications.

Conversely, in countries like the United States where abortion is both legal and safe, women seek abortions earlier in pregnancy, are attended by skilled medical professionals and rarely suffer complications.

The Colombia court’s decision comes at a time when countries around the world are examining their abortion policies and ruling in favor of more liberal laws and healthier women.

Click here for more information about:

Efforts to liberalize Colombia’s abortion policy

Clandestine abortion in Latin America

Unintended pregnancy and induced abortion around the world

An overview of abortion in the United States