Judgment T-841/2011

The Constitutional Courts decides to punish a health administrator for failing to provide an abortion to a minor, despite the fact that said procedure would have fallen under one of the circumstances of legal abortion in Colombia. The Court holds that health administrators have an obligation to provide legal abortion services.
  • Country: Colombia
  • Edition: 2012
  • Visits: 1266
  • Court: Constitutional Court
  • Date of the Decision: 06/12/2016
  • Votes: 0

The minor, AA (the Court decided to protect the identity of the parties in this case), became pregnant after engaging in sexual activity with her boyfriend, who was also a minor. AA saw a doctor during the 14th week of her pregnancy, at which point the doctor determined that the pregnancy presented a risk to AA’s mental health, which is one of the circumstances under which a legal abortion can be performed in Colombia.

The health administrator, however, refused to perform the procedure because the physician who issued the medical report that certified the risk was not affiliated with its service network. Ultimately, because of the various obstacles imposed by the health administrator, the minor was forced to continue the pregnancy and faced numerous physical and mental consequences as a result.

According to the Court, health administrators have an obligation to provide legal abortion services. In this case, the administrator flagrantly ignored that obligation when it decided to ignore the medical report that certified the risk that the pregnancy presented to the minor. For this reason, among others, the Court ordered the health administrator to pay pecuniary damages for the harm caused and to provide the minor with all of the health services necessary to treat the physical and mental consequences that resulted from her pregnancy.

The judicial decision can be downloaded in its original version in Spanish.

Judges who issued the decision

Humberto Sierra Porto

María Victoria Calle Correa

Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva


Constitutional Court of Colombia.
Constitutional Court of Colombia.

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