Changes in the sexual and reproductive lives of Chilean men and women

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Primer Informe sobre Salud Sexual, Salud Reproductiva y Derechos Humanos en Chile
by Safe Abortion | posted Jan 6, 2017

El estudio de la Corporación Miles se refiere a los cambios en la vida sexual y reproductiva de los chilenos y chilenas y a los déficit en los campos de las políticas públicas y las leyes, estableciendo comparaciones con otros países.

(This study by Corporación Miles analyses changes in the sexual and reproductive lives of Chilean men and women and the deficit in public policy and law underlying them, and draws comparisons with other countries.)

Este informe analiza el estado de la situación al 2016, tras 28 años de transformaciones y disputas sociociocultales respecto a estas materias. La edición del documento estuvo a cargo de la directora ejecutiva de Miles, Claudia Dides y Constanza Fernández del equipo de investigación de la entidad, y contó con los aportes tecnicos de Leo Arenas, Jennifer Duran, Eduardo Soto, Marissa Velarde, Gonzalo Infante G. y Gonzalo Leiva R.

(This report analyses the situation of sexual health, reproductive health and human right in Chile up to 2016, after 28 years of transformation and socio-cultural disputes with respect to these issues. It was edited by Claudia Dides, Executive Director of Miles, and Constance Fernández of the Miles research team, and includes theoretical contributions from Leo Arenas, Jennifer Duran, Eduardo Soto, Marissa Velarde, Gonzalo Infante G and Gonzalo Leiva R.)

Chapter 5 is on abortion (pages 113-136). It opens by pointing out that the complete criminalisation of abortion in Chile dates from 1989 under the military dictatorship. Despite not being on the political agenda of the coalition governments since the dictatorship ended, 26 bills on abortion have been tabled in the parliament from 1991 to 2010.

According to Ministry of Health data, in 2012 the number of hospital discharges related to abortion were 30,434. Of these, 26,802 cases were women aged 20-44 years and 3,070 were adolescents aged 15-19 years. Of the total, the reasons for treatment were not specified in 7,952 cases while complications were recorded in 219 cases.

Estimates of numbers of abortions annually for the three legal grounds included in the current

abortion law reform bill, based on data from the Health Ministry for 2012, show that the ground of risk to women’s lives would cover an estimated 9,991 cases per year; the ground of fetal anomaly at less than 22 weeks of pregnancy would cover 304 to 543 cases annually, and the ground of rape would cover an estimated 1,035 cases annually.

Further sections of this chapter cover: 1) women prosecuted for abortion since 1998, when the first case was reported, 2) laws, norms and regulations related to abortion, 3) international agreements supported by Chile since 1966 on human rights, 4) norms, protocols and technical guidance, and a concluding section “By way of reflection”.

In March 2016, the Chamber of Deputies approved the law reform bill. In September 2016, the Health Committee of the Senate approved the principle of legislating. A vote in the Senate is awaited.

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion