Chilean Senators try to alter the text of the abortion bill for and against safe abortion


Chilean Senators try to alter the text of the abortion bill for and against safe abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
April 19, 2017

A news report on 1 April revealed that several anti-abortion Senators have sought to modify the ground of risk of the woman’s life, to say that “all legitimate medical practice to save the life of the mother that, as a result, ends the life of the fetus is not abortion”. However, although they claim that this rewording is “with nuances of grammar, but similar in its intention”, in fact this is an anti-abortion substitute for making abortion legal if there is a risk to the woman’s life. This is the language of the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare of 2012, which states unequivocally that abortion is never medically necessary, even to save the life of a pregnant woman. It is a kind of double-speak that led to the death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland, where the Declaration was published just before her death. Abortion rights advocates should oppose it, if they are not doing so already.

The Government, for its part, reintroduced a number of grounds that had been rejected in the Chamber of Deputies; among them, the right to decide on abortion at the age of 14 years and the elimination of the requirement to report any woman who has an abortion to the police, which is currently required of clinicians.

The deadline for Senators to propose any further changes has passed. The next step in the process began on 4 April, in the Senate Health Committee, chaired by Senator PPD Guido Girardi, the new President of the Commission. He assured the Committee that they will hold no more hearings, and that now was the time to legislate and that they were going to discuss all the grounds. In total, there were 120 amendments to the bill, which they began to review during the week of 10 April.

In line with the Government’s views, Senator and presidential candidate Alejandro Guillier is supporting permitting abortion in cases of rape up to 18 weeks of pregnancy and restrictions on the exercise of conscientious objection, requiring prior written notification, a rationale and the approval of the director of the health facility concerned.

Other changes proposed by anti-abortion Senator Andres Zaldivar are to lower the “intensity” of the criminal prosecution of women having abortion, i.e. reducing but not eliminating prison sentences, as a “more humane approach to the problem”. This point has generated one of the largest debates in the DC party and with independent senators, who are opposed to women who have abortions ending up in jail. He has also proposed that if a fetal anomaly has been diagnosed, the pregnancy should not be aborted but the hospital should wait and “induce labour” at 22 weeks in order to deliver a live but very premature baby that will need intensive treatment to stay alive, as has been imposed in several cases, e.g. Paraguay, on young girls. This is not abortion, but it is international anti-abortion ideology and language.

In contrast, a number of pro-choice Senators have proposed to extend the grounds of risk to the woman’s life by adding the concept of “serious harm to health” as well as life. Senator Girardi was going to add that this can apply to the “present or future” but it seems he has not done so. Another proposal has been to extend the types of fetal anomaly incompatible with life to “congenital malformation, genetic alteration or acquired pathology”.

These proposals, representing the different sides on this issue, are a sign that support for this bill’s intention to permit abortion in limited circumstances is far from being secured.

SOURCE: EMOL, 1 April 2017 ; biobiochile, 5 April 2017 ; PHOTO, Agencia UNO ;

Thanks to Lidia Casas Becerra for checking this text, 18 April 2017


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

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Chile: Popaganda: Where Abortion Is Illegal


Popaganda: Where Abortion Is Illegal
by Sarah Mirk
Published on March 30, 2017 at 6:18am

Donald Trump and Mike Pence say they want to ban abortion in the United States. But they seem to have a hazy idea of what that will actually mean. Millions of people around the world know all too well what happens when abortion is criminalized: 25 percent of the world's population lives in countries with very restrictive abortion laws. On this episode, we bring you a dispatch from one such country, Chile, where abortion is completely illegal. While abortion is banned for everyone in the nation, the reality is much different. As three Chilean women explain, whether or not you can safely get an abortion in the country comes down to one thing: money.

Continued at source: Bitch Media:

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‘There will be more deaths’: NGOs on Trump’s anti-abortion rule


'There will be more deaths': NGOs on Trump's anti-abortion rule

We asked NGOs how the reinstatement of the ‘global gag’ rule will impact what they do, and the people they work with. Here are some of the responses.

Katherine Purvis and Guardian readers

Thursday 9 February 2017

Three days after his inauguration, Donald Trump reinstated the “global gag” rule, which prohibits the use of US aid money for abortions, prevents NGOs from using private funds for abortion services, from referring women to groups that provide abortions, and even from offering information on services.

We asked NGOs around the world to tell us how the policy impacted them in the past, and what it means for their work today.
Continued at source: The Guardian:

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Chile Could Soon Provide Women With Limited Abortion Rights


Chile Could Soon Provide Women With Limited Abortion Rights

Published 26 January 2017

The dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet prohibited abortion under all circumstances. Now, a new bill seeks to decriminalize abortion in limited circumstances.

Chile's Senate approved a bill Wednesday that if enacted will allow women to access safe and legal abortions in the cases of rape, fetal deformation or life endangerment.

After an intense debate that almost saw the session suspended, the Senate agreed to advance the bill with a vote of 20 to 15.

[continued at link]

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Chilean Constitutional Commission agrees to send the abortion bill to the full Senate


Chilean Constitutional Commission agrees to send the abortion bill to the full Senate!!!
by Safe Abortion, Jan 17, 2017


– Please sign the petition in support of the bill at:

Por favor, firmen la petición en apoyo del proyecto de ley a:

Following a vote today, 17 January, in the Constitutional Commission of the Chilean Senate, the fantastic news is: the abortion bill was approved by the Commission by a vote of three in favour and 2 against. It can now be taken to the floor of the full Senate.

In a last-minute effort in the week before the vote, Chilean human rights NGO Corporación Miles launched four videos. The videos contain raw accounts by women of their experiences of pregnancies with severe and fatal fetal anomalies. They have been disseminated through social networks one at a time, each time to thousands of people – last Wednesday and Thursday 11-12 January, Sunday 15 January and Monday 16 January, with a clear appeal to the Senators to vote for the decriminalisation of abortion on three grounds.

In the first video, Natalia Ahumada, aged 35 from Valparaiso, describes how her daughter was found to have skeletal dysplasia and died in the womb at 33 weeks of pregnancy. She says: “In the public hospital, I was told that my daughter had genetic mutations. I was treated for anxiety and depression. You can’t forget that you are a woman with a non-viable pregnancy who is suffering. I was hospitalized alongside post-partum women with healthy newborns, who I had to share a room with until the delivery, knowing that my daughter was dead.” As if that were not enough, she says: “Because of the lack of information while I was in hospital, I had to wait another week to bury her.”

On the evening of 12 January, the testimony is from Rosita Fuica (23) from Los Angeles, who talks about her experience in a hospital that denounced her to the police for having suffered a miscarriage at home.

On 15 January, a video was circulated with the story of Andrea Quiroga (aged 40) in Santiago, who suffered a pregnancy with a fetus incompatible with life. And on 16 January, Paola Valenzuela (aged 42), talks about the drama of learning her pregnancy was affected by amniotic band syndrome when she was 36 weeks pregnant, and that the child in her womb was being mutilated as it developed because of a fatal problem with all its organs, which meant it would die.

“These are real stories, touching, daunting, about damage to the dignity of women in the extreme. We appreciate the courage of Natalia, Rosita, Andrea and Paola to publicise their testimonies to sensitise the parliamentarians. We hope that the bill will not only be voted on and approved by the Commission, but also in the Senate Chamber,” said the director of Miles, Claudia Dides, in a statement.

Reportaje en español desde Chile:

La Tercera:

El Mostrador:


El Ciudadano:

SOURCE: Email from Claudia Dides C, Corporación MILES, 12 January 2017


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

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Vote in Constitutional Commission of the Senate on Chilean abortion bill currently scheduled for 16 January


by Safe Abortion
Jan 10, 2017

On 15 December 2016, CNN reported that the Constitutional Commission of the Chilean Senate had decided that the bill to decriminalise abortion on three grounds – risk to the woman’s life, rape and fatal fetal anomaly – could be sent to the floor of the Senate for a final vote on 10 January 2017. The Commission conducted two day-long sessions on 2 and 3 January so as to be ready to vote on the bill the following day, 4 January, after almost a year and 10 months since the measure was first tabled in the Congress. But the vote did not happen that day.

On 7 and 9 January 2017, La Tercera reported that the Constitutional Commission will vote on the bill on 16 January 2016. They quote the President of the five-member Commission, Pedro Arroyo, who said: “The Commission has done a lot of serious work on the draft law… It has heard more than 35 experts in different areas of law who have given their opinions in favour or against the bill.” Over a period of three months, they have included professors of constitutional, civil and penal law.

The different positions within the group on this subject are said to augur tensions in the government’s New Majority coalition, which in part have contributed to the slow processing of the bill. However, the news site quoted several Senators who said the quality of the debate and points raised, in spite of personal views against abortion, made it clear that this was an issue of public policy that had to be addressed and was likely to pass. A spokesperson from Chile is Life also thought the debate was serious and professional, but that it would not have changed anyone’s opinions. Claudia Dides of Corporación Miles expressed the hope of many that a vote would finally take place and that sanity will prevail.

The date of the full Senate vote will depend on the Government and whether or not they decide to call an immediate debate and vote, next week or the next…. The Commission’s original timetable was that their vote would be today, 10 January, but this was subject to completion of a session in which legal scholars would be invited to resolve the last doubts of the legislators. That session was postponed due to problems in the diaries of the presenters, so the date for the vote was moved to 16 January.

Member of Congress, Guido Girardi, said in an interview in November 2016: “We have made progress on several issues, such as divorce and civil union, and today it is a matter of seeing what the status of Chilean women in society is… Today we want women to live their sexuality in a full way and that has to be done with sexuality education and contraceptive methods.” He confessed: “I would never have an abortion, but at the least I do not want any woman to be imprisoned for terminating her pregnancy… This is part of our country’s recovery of human rights… This is a priority, and it is an initiative that has 70% support of the country. In addition, we have been challenged from the outside for not recognising women as full subjects under the law… The pressure from conservative groups who oppose the reform is legitimate, but the Government has to govern… We want the Executive to show more urgency on this issue because they made a commitment to the country… even though it is easier not to cause conflict… Every woman must have the ability and the right to make her own decisions in these circumstances. Chile cannot go on like this.”

We are holding our breath until this vote takes place and send solidarity to all our friends in Chile who have worked so hard for so many years for messages like these to come from the mainstream, especially that this vote is about Chile still recovering human rights, in this case for women. [Editor]

SOURCE: CNN Chile, 15 December 2016 ; La Tercera, 7 January 2017 ; PHOTO ; La Tercera, 9 January 2017 (todos en español)

SEE ALSO Video (11 min): CNN Chile interview with Guido Girardi, 8 November 2016 (en español)

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

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


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

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The 9 countries with the most draconian abortion laws in the world


The 9 countries with the most draconian abortion laws in the world

by Andree Gorman
Dec. 15, 2016, 11:05

LONDON — In November, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would explore offering Northern Irish women a free and legal means to terminate their pregnancy.

Abortion is only legal in Northern Ireland when a pregnant woman's life is at risk, but the NHS has so far refused to pay for the procedure for those who travel to Britain seeking help.

Sturgeon's plan may offer a way around this. In doing so, she also cast light on abortion laws.

Around the world, 58 of 196 countries provide abortions on request, and 134 of 196 countries only allow abortions to preserve a woman's physical health.

Six countries — El Salvador, Malta, the Vatican, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua — still refuse abortions to women under any circumstances, even if it's to save her life. It means that under many circumstances, such as rape, incest, or if the fetus has a severe abnormality, women still must bring a pregnancy to term.

Developing countries, which have the strictest laws around ending a pregnancy, have the highest unsafe abortion rates. It is estimated that around the world, 78,000 deaths result from unsafe abortions every year. These are the countries with the strictest abortion laws around the globe.

[continued at link]
Source: Business Insider,

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MILES (Movement for Sexual and Reproductive Rights) denounces the detention of a Chilean woman accused of having an abortion


by Safe Abortion, Nov 25, 2016

The Movement for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (MILES) today denounced the fact that a Colombian woman of 32 years of age was detained at Antofagasta by the Sexual Crimes Brigade of the IDPS for allegedly aborting a fetus of 18 weeks. She was said to have taken three doses of misoprostol and then gone to the Medical Center North (CAN), where she was arrested and detained by the Office of the Prosecutor.

“This situation is inhumane. Women are treated like criminals because the State has been unable to regulate and facilitate the termination of pregnancy, even for women at risk of losing their lives by the absence of this care,” said MILES. “Instead of being helped, the woman was put in the pillory in public, without any concern about the deep psychological and physical unease that she must be feeling. This is a flagrant violation of her human rights.”

“The government and legislators must show the decency to adopt the pending abortion law reform, because every day that passes without this law, there are egregious abuses of women’s health and lives. The State must respond to the demands and needs of the people, the majority of whom endorse the abortion bill, as all the opinion polls show.”

SOURCE: Miles por los derechose sexuales y reproductivos, 18 November 2016 ; PHOTO

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

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Chile’s President Wants To Ease Abortion Ban, But Opponents Push Back


By Max Radwin
Oct 20, 2016

Just 18 and still in high school, Camila Rodriguez did not feel prepared for motherhood when she learned she was unexpectedly pregnant. She began asking around her school, hoping to find someone selling Misoprostol, a pharmaceutical drug that treats stomach ulcers, but which has been banned in Chile since 2001 because it can also induce abortions.

She obtained a contact over Whatsapp through a friend and reluctantly agreed to meet them behind a mall downtown. Rodriguez purchased 12 pills for approximately $104. Taking one hourly throughout the day, she experienced vomiting, headaches, fever, stomach pain — and ultimately, an abortion.

[continued at link]
Source: North State Public Radio

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