Colombia: Abortion Law


Abortion is only allowed to save a woman’s life, to preserve physical and mental health, and in case of rape or incest.

Código Penal (Ley 599 of 24 July 2000).

Official law, Chapter 4, Articles 122-124. However, this law has been held to be unconstitutional by Colombian Constitutional Court. Although they have not yet been amended, the Ministry of Social Protection issued the Decree No.144 of 13 December 2006, outlining the circumstances in which abortions may be legally performed under the Constitutional Court decision.

Abortion is only allowed to save woman’s life; to preserve physical and mental health and in case of rape or incest. In 2006, the Constitutional Court determined that Colombian legislation criminalising abortion was unconstitutional and women were entitled to a termination of pregnancy in three specific circumstances: when the pregnancy threatens the life or health of the woman; when there is malformation of the foetus which is incompatible with life outside the womb; and when the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest, or insemination or in-vitro fertilisation without consent.


The Project Camara of Law 209 in 2016 intends to modify Art. 122 of the Colombian Penal Code, rendering abortion until the 24th week of pregnancy legal under every circumstance.