Friday, March 22, 2013

Colombia's Council of State Invalidates Regulations Mandating Hospitals Perform Certain Abortions

In 2006, Colombia's Constitutional Court struck down the country's total ban on abortions and ruled that abortion must be allowed in cases of rape, incest, fetal malformation or where the life of the mother is threatened. (Background.) Later that year, the country's Ministry of Social Protection issued a decree to implement the court's decision, and refused to exempt Catholic hospitals that had religious objections to performing abortions. In 2009, the Council of State, Colombia's highest administrative court, suspended the decree while considering its constitutionality.  Now, according to a report yesterday by LifeSite News, the Council of State has ruled that the implementing decree is invalid.  It concluded that the Ministry can only issue decrees to implement laws passed by the legislature.  Only the National Congress can issue regulations to implement Constituitonal Court rulings.