Is Chile willing to legalize abortion?

After what happened in Argentina, the southern country puts on the table the possibility of expanding the chances of interruption of pregnancy

Is Chile willing to legalize abortion?

Chile begins the debate for the decriminalization of abortion beyond what is allowed by the current law. In the Congress of that country, a bill will be presented that allows women to abort, if they wish, without distinction of the causes of pregnancy but up to the 14th week of gestation.

Leer en español: ¿Está Chile dispuesto a despenalizar el aborto?

Since 1931, in Chile abortion was allowed for therapeutic purposes, that is, on the recommendation of a doctor. However, in 1989, the dictator Augusto Pinochet prohibited any type of interruption of pregnancy.

Until a little over a year ago, abortion was regulated by the government of Michelle Bachelet, establishing three grounds for abortion without meaning an eventual punishment for women. Thanks to such effort, it is legal to abort in case of rape, danger to the life of the mother and when it is a fetus is unfeasible.

Regional background

This process is not free, because in recent weeks the debate on abortion in Argentina was an issue that divided society. For example, the movement of "green scarves" arose to support the total decriminalization of the termination of pregnancy, extending the exceptions of the law, or, in other words, when the pregnancy puts at risk the physical or mental health of the mother or in cases where the pregnancy is the product of a violation.

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In response to this massive movement appeared another, the "blue handkerchiefs" that identifies the next ones, who defend the right of the fetus to be born. This initiative was given thanks to the management of several NGOs against legalization, as well as the most conservative sectors of Argentine society.

After weeks of debate in the Argentine Congress, finally, the bill that sought to make the parameters of abortion more flexible, with a vote of 38 to 31. Although it is true that this was considered a victory for the blue handkerchiefs, after The decision was made in the case of a 34-year-old woman who tried to abort with a homemade method - a stem of parsley - that caused an infection and later death, leaving an orphan to a two-year-old son.

What comes to Chile?

Cases like that of that woman show the need to regulate abortion or at least implement measures to avoid deaths due to lack of options. Although the proposal in Chile is still in preliminary stages, the nascent movement has gained strength because of what happened recently in Argentina.

The project seeks the decriminalization and decriminalization of abortion in all its causes, which means, respectively, that a woman cannot be punished for voluntarily interrupting her pregnancy or forcing a social punishment for the practice as of its prohibition in the law. Technically it is a reform to the penal code, so the measure can not count on public funds.

In response to this initiative, conservative sectors are prepared to present their own proposals to prevent the decriminalization project from moving forward. Some of the proposals include allowing adoption from the womb, establishment of death certificates for unborn fetuses, cemeteries for these and even reforming the constitution to guarantee the right to life from conception.

LatinAmerican Post | Iván Parada Hernández