Colombia

Colombia (Grupo Médico por el Derecho a Decidir)

GDC/Colombia Leadership

Dr. Ana Cristina González Vélez is the founder of and lead doctor for GDC/Colombia; she also sits on GDC’s Board of Managers.

Oriéntame serves as GDC/Colombia’s fiscal sponsor.

Recent Highlights from GDC/Colombia

  • GDC/Colombia has produced four position papers and two case studies.
  • The Colombian journal La Silla Vacía published a GDC/Colombia article* regarding stigma and abortion providers on its blog. *This article is in Spanish.
  • GDC/Colombia released a statement in response to an article regarding conscientious objection in Colombia and this response was published by the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion.
  • In 2016 at the National OB/GYN Meeting in Cali, Colombia, GDC/Colombia lead doctor Dr. Ana Cristina González Vélez participated in a table on conscientious objection (CO).  Her presentation focused on CO in the context of bioethics and human rights, including describing the phenomenon of CO, expressing how CO is a central element of bioethics, defining what is and what is not CO, addressing the tension between the rights of providers and of patients, and articulating how CO falls within a human rights framework.
  • GDC/Colombia was featured in an article that discusses the impact of stigma on the law and that urges the complete decriminalization of abortion, as it is a health service.
  • In 2014 GDC/Colombia partnered with the Center for Reproductive Rights to train physicians to serve as expert witnesses in court cases. So far, these doctors have provided testimony in two cases before the Executive Secretary of the Interamerican Commission of Human Rights.
  • Colombia’s Constitutional Court, which has decided many cases involving abortion in the country, invited GDC/Colombia to serve as expert witnesses on an ongoing basis in cases related to health and rights issues.
  • GDC/Colombia created a tool for providers in Colombia to assess their own position regarding conscientious objection. The tool was rated “highly valuable” by colleagues at the Curso Nacional de IVE (National Course on Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy) in 2014. This self-administered test (in Spanish) is useful for reflections about the topic.
  • GDC/Colombia doctors were invited participate in a collective exercise, led by different organizations and academics, that sought to provide feedback on a prospective law regarding conscientious objection in Colombia. The proposed law presented a legal framework for the regulation of conscientious objection to the Colombian congress. More information is available here.
  • GDC/Colombia designed a database to centralize the collection of information about problematic abortion cases in Colombia. Although non-representative, the database helps to systematically document the range of different barriers to access to pregnancy termination services. The plan is to transform this into a regional (LAC) database to identify areas for further research and position papers.
  • GDC/Colombia also partnered with the US-based Center for Reproductive Rights to develop a publication on guidelines for delivering expert testimony: Basic Guidelines for the Development of Expert Testimony: Towards the Guarantee of Sexual and Reproductive Rights (en Español).
  • GDC/Colombia has held regular meetings of its “core” group of trained doctor-advocates, in both Bogotá and Medellín; Drs. Gonzalez, Gil, and Velez have worked to expand this core group and GDC/Colombia’s network.
  • GDC/Colombia is working with FECOLSOG (the national association of obstetricians and gynecologists in Colombia) to design and administer a survey on conscientious objection to establish the prevalence of CO among gynecologists at the national level.
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