Agnostic doctor encourages conscientious objection to abortion in Colombia

Doctor Carlos Valdivieso, agnostic and president of the Medical Association of Antioquia (Colombia), assured that he did not study medicine to be an executioner, encouraged conscientious objection to abortion and stressed that his mission is to save lives and relieve pain.

“I would be a conscientious objector. I did not study medicine, I say this clearly, to take the life of any human being. My essential task is to save life and relieve pain”, the doctor highlighted in an interview with BluRadio, after the ruling of the Constitutional Court that decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

On February 21, the Constitutional Court of Colombia established, by a vote of 5 to 4, that abortion “will only be punishable when performed after the twenty-fourth (24) week of gestation and, in any case, this time limit will not apply. to the three assumptions established in judgment C-355 of 2006”.

This means that until the 24th week of gestation, abortion will not be a punishable crime, regardless of the reason for which it is performed; and that after this period it can be practiced under the grounds established by the ruling of the Constitutional Court of 2006.

We doctors know that life exists from the moment of conception, no one can stop to deny it. We are not religious, many of us do not have any faith, but we know that life exists from conception, ”she stressed.

When asked if he knows of other doctors willing to exercise his right to conscientious objection, Valdivieso said that there are a lot of. We have many specialists in gynecology and obstetrics who have called us, we have spoken with several that we know”.

After commenting that he does not judge a doctor who decides to perform an abortion, the specialist stressed that “each colleague is a subject of science and conscience, but we must remember that we have the right to conscientious objection.”

For doctors, this is not a religious issue.“, he pointed.

Valdivieso specified that “for doctors, the voluntary termination of pregnancy is an abortion. We do not use another term. The term for us is abortion” and he stressed that “we doctors have not studied medicine to serve as executioners”.

Faced with the ruling of the Constitutional Court, the doctor questioned: “What is going to happen? We begin to be forced by the institutions and some of us will not be hired, those of us who are conscientious objectors; because obviously the institutions require people to carry out these procedures.”

However, “doctors do not study to perform this type of procedure and absolute respect for conscientious objection is required,” he stressed.

How is an abortion done?

The doctor also described how an abortion is done today.

“If there is a minor pregnancy, of a low level of weeks, the gynecologist will have to wield a curette,” a kind of surgical knife, “that will scrape the uterus, and perform a procedure where the product of the pregnancy is extracted, which is a living being, without a doubt”.

As a result “of the action of a gynecologist, he is going to end that life at that moment.”

“In the final weeks you can’t do that because it could cause hemorrhages in the mother. The techniques are different”, she warned.

In the case of a larger baby, “of a child between 20 or a little more weeks, they will have to give him a medicine that allows a heart attack in that fetus“, he pointed.

Then they proceed to “disengage the mother, which is the term that is used, extract that fetus that was previously alive and as a product of the doctor’s action, will lose its life and will be extracted”

“However, for the doctor essential function is to preserve life and relieve pain. Therefore, this type of action raises a series of questions in gynecologists, ”he said.

The doctor explained that at 24 weeks or 6 months of gestation, in the baby “all the senses are developed. Even in many cases they have been able to live outside the mother, they have been viable”.

That means that “they have been able to save their lives and have become healthy adults”, since at 24 weeks “we have an almost fully formed fetus”.

The doctor then recalled the Madrid Manifesto, a document signed by more than a thousand Spanish intellectuals in 2009, between “agnostics, declared atheists and believers”, a text that “clearly reflects what I think”.

The text, signed by biologists, jurists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, gynecologists, philosophers, doctors, professors and university professors, specifies that there is ample scientific evidence that human life begins at the moment of fertilization; that abortion is a cruel act against the human being and that the abortion law that the Government was preparing at the time is a tragedy for the unborn child, the mother and the whole society.

The manifesto assures that abortion is a drama with two victims: “One dies and the other survives, and suffers daily the consequences of a dramatic and irreparable decision.”

The text also requires respect to the freedom of conscientious objection in this matter, since no one can be forced to act against it”.

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