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Letters & Op-Eds - 2005

the economist

Catholic Choice

Frances Kissling

27 October 2005

SIR – It is important to note that Colombia's Catholics, who comprise 90% of the population, support the liberalisation of its abortion laws (“Last bastions”, October 8th). A poll, conducted by Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir (Catholics for the Right to Decide), in September 2003 demonstrated that the vast majority of Colombians support access to legal abortion when the woman's life is in danger, her health is at risk, the fetus has severe abnormalities or the pregnancy is the result of rape. The Catholic tradition is based on respect for the conscience of each individual person. Church law recognises the right of Catholics to follow their conscience, even when their decision disagrees with a teaching of the church. The record of respect for human rights demonstrated by the Constitutional Court of Colombia is legendary in the region and in the international human-rights community. We are certain that it will respond to Monica Roa's legal challenge to overturn the ban on abortion with the judicial independence and interests of Colombia's women that have marked so many of its historic decisions.

Frances Kissling
Catholics for a Free Choice
Washington, DC