Abortion: the arguments of the recusal against the magistrate Cristina Pardo

The Sisma Mujer Corporation filed a challenge against the magistrate of the Constitutional Court Cristina Pardo Schlesinger, so that she is removed from the debate on the possible decriminalization of abortion in Colombia for allegedly having a direct interest in the decision.

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The document cites multiple public positions in which Judge Pardo expressed in the past her “ethical and legal” objections to the 2006 ruling that decriminalized abortion on three grounds, as well as voting saves in which it has made clear its total opposition to abortion in any condition.

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Specifically, it is cited that in June 2014, Pardo, as Legal Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic, asked the then president Juan Manuel Santos to excuse her from fulfilling her legal duties and accept her “conscientious objection” in the review she had to make of a bill that adopted measures for access to justice for victims of violence , which today is Law 1719 of 2014.

This bill that Pardo had to review then spoke about it and the jurist objected conscientiously, stating that she did not agree with the 2006 ruling of the Court and that he had ethical-legal objections.

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“Thus the things, although the articles of the bill could be considered in accordance with the Political Constitution interpreted in the light of Judgment C-355 of 2006, p For the aforementioned reasons, the undersigned does not accept this constitutional hermeneutics, insofar as it fully shares the reasons included in the vote to save the aforementioned sentence, which at the time it contributed to drafting”, Pardo said in a June 2014 letter.

The challenge also shows that on October 25, 2018, already a magistrate of the Constitutional Court, Pardo met with members of the Conservative Party with the purpose, according to an email, of publicize a paper he had presented that apparently sought to limit abortion. There are images of that meeting, in which Senator Hernán Andrade was present, on social networks.

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“The personal and moral convictions regarding the right to abortion held by Judge Cristina Pardo represent an affectation to their internal jurisdiction and to their impartiality and, at the same time, they are of such magnitude that they are understood to be current and constant, since they are not occasional or isolated opinions on the right to abortion”, says the challenge.

De According toSisma Mujer, an organization that defends women’s rights, Pardo should be removed from the case because, as she has shown, her opposition to the right to abortion is of an ethical-legal nature.

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“When Dr. Pardo expressed that she could not carry out her functions is legal as Legal Secretary, due to ethical-legal reasoning that she had regarding the right to abortion, makes it clear that said moral convictions are of such magnitude that they clearly affect her internal jurisdiction and that, therefore, , make it so difficult for them to comply with their legal obligations, that it is necessary for another person to replace them in their functions”, says the challenge.

“It is clear that, if said ethical convictions regarding the right to abortion were not of such magnitude, Dr. Cristina Pardo would not have objected conscientiously as Legal Secretary, since this request is truly exceptional as it implies in all cases a request to stop performing a function to which she is obliged legally”, adds the document.

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The petition also cites the saves of votes that Pardo submitted to judgment C-088 of 2020, which left abortion as it is today, to say that he did not share the 2006 judgment that “decriminalized abortion on three grounds, nor the jurisprudential line that followed this decision ”.

“I believe that in Judgment C-355 of 2006 the Constitutional Court changed its previous jurisprudence to maintain that human life in formation, that is, the life of the one who is unborn, it is only a ‘constitutionally relevant value’, with which it ignored not only the biological fact of nascent human life, but also that it is a fundamental right at the head of the nasciturus”.

(You may be interested in: The scenarios that open up in the Court in the debate on abortion)

This paper approaches the Court ad portas of a new session of the Plenary Chamber in which it is expected that the multiple challenges presented against the associate judge Juan Carlos Henao, which request his exclusion, will be resolved of the debate for having referred in the media in the past in favor of abortion.

The session is scheduled for this Wednesday, the day on which the Plenary Chamber is also summoned to elect a president. Everything is planned for Justice Pardo to occupy such dignity, replacing Justice Antonio José Lizarazo , and Justice Diana Fajardo to be appointed as Vice President.

On Twitter: @JusticiaET

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