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Colombian church says will reject those who abort

Written by: Staff
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BOGOTA, Colombia, May 13 (Reuters) The Catholic church in Colombia threatened to excommunicate anyone involved in helping women end their pregnancies under a new law allowing abortion in certain cases.

''Abortion, which is the murder of a child in the womb of the mother, will be punished by immediate excommunication,'' Pedro Rubiano, archbishop of capital city Bogota and a cardinal, told reporters yesterday.

The Constitutional Court decided earlier this week that abortion is legal in cases of rape, life-threatening complications for the mother and pregnancies in which the fetus is deformed.

The decision was front-page news in this largely Catholic country of 44 million people.

''The person who is directly or indirectly ... responsible for the abortion will be excommunicated,'' Rubiano said.

Medical authorities estimate there are about 300,000 abortions in Colombia per year, many under unsafe circumstances that account for the second-highest cause of death among women in the Andean country.

REUTERS PM0422

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