Chile abortion bill: ‘My pregnancy was torture’

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Chile abortion bill: 'My pregnancy was torture'

By Jane Chambers Santiago
17 August 2017

Paola Valenzuela was 40 years old when she found out she was pregnant with her second child.

"My husband and I were so excited about having another child and my son, who was nine at the time, was very happy about the idea of having a little brother," she recalls.

But when she went for her first scan, Ms Valenzuela was told the foetus was not developing properly. "It was a terrible blow for all of us," she says.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40937771

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Endgame nears in Chile president’s fight to temper draconian abortion ban

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Endgame nears in Chile president's fight to temper draconian abortion ban

After tortuous passage through congress, Michelle Bachelet’s bill legalising abortion in some circumstances will go before constitutional tribunal

Hannah Summers
Wednesday 16 August 2017

Chile is on the cusp of finalising a landmark ruling to legalise abortion under certain circumstances in a move that would signal a major victory for President Michelle Bachelet.

After two years of fractious debate, a bill that would permit termination of a pregnancy when a woman’s life is in danger, when a foetus is not viable or in cases of rape, could be passed this week.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/aug/16/chile-abortion-ban-constitiutional-tribunal-michelle-bachelet

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The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

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The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Nomtika

All roads led to Uruguay last week, between July 31st and August 4th, as 5 SRJC members took to Montevideo for the International Convention on Conscientious Objection.

The meeting, co-hosted by Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), featured policymakers, academics, health professionals, legal experts, and feminist activists who collectively established that objecting to the provision of voluntary abortion services on religious or moral grounds, is a chief barrier to safe abortion and endangers the lives of women.

Continued at source: Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition: http://srjc.org.za/2017/08/10/the-discussion-on-conscientious-objection/

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Global Experts Prioritize Tackling Conscientious Objection to Abortion

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Global Experts Prioritize Tackling Conscientious Objection to Abortion
Montevideo, August 4, 2017

Fifty experts from 20 countries in Africa, the Americas and Europe, gathered at the first international convening on conscientious objection to abortion have concluded that the refusal to provide legal abortion services is hurting women all over the world and must be tackled.

The meeting, co-hosted by Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), featured policymakers, academics, health professionals, legal experts, and feminist activists who collectively established that objecting to the provision of voluntary abortion services on religious or moral grounds, is a chief barrier to safe abortion and endangers the lives of women.

Continued at source: Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition: http://srjc.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Uruguay-English-Declaration.pdf

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Chile’s Congress eases strict abortion ban, court battle awaits

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Chile's Congress eases strict abortion ban, court battle awaits

August 3, 2017

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile's Congress approved late on Wednesday night a bill that legalizes abortion in certain cases, though it will still need to win the approval of the nation's courts to go into effect.

After a complex and fractious process, the nation's Chamber of Deputies voted 70 to 45 to allow abortion when a woman's life is in danger, when a fetus in unviable, or when a pregnancy results from rape.

It followed fierce debate and a razor-thin vote to approve the bill in the nation's more conservative Senate in July, and a previous debate in the Chamber of Deputies which sent a slightly different version of the original bill to the Senate last year.
Continued at source: Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-abortion-idUSKBN1AJ23H

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Historic decision: Chile’s National Congress legalizes abortion after 28 years of criminalization

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Historic decision: Chile's National Congress legalizes abortion after 28 years of criminalization

Miles Chile dedicates this "day of greater dignity, respect and freedom to all those women who since 1989 were punished, stigmatized, humiliated or killed for having interrupted their pregnancy."

August 3, 2017

Today, 3 August, the Chilean Congress passed the abortion bill into law. Miles Chile has declared today "a day of dignity, respect and freedom honouring all the women who since 1989 were prosecuted, stigmatised, humiliated or killed for having terminated a pregnancy".

In fact, the three grounds for abortion contained in the abortion bill had already been approved by both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of the Congress.

However, there was not a majority to pass one clause permitting girls and adolescents under the age of 14 years who is pregnant due to rape to seek authorisation from a Family Court for an abortion if a parent or legal guardian refuses their permission.

This held up passage of the whole bill. What was required next was for a Joint Commission of 5 Senators and 5 Deputies to be constituted, who drafted a consensus report on that one clause to be taken for approval to both chambers. The vote on the report in the Commission took place on the evening of 1 August and was approved 6 to 4. The law was passed today, 3 August, by 70 to 45 in the Chamber of Deputies and 22 to 13 in the Senate, after lobbying to ensure there was no further delay.

Now the ten-person Constitutional Court must discuss the three grounds. As has been reported previously, even before the bill was passed by the Congress, the opposition had tabled a request to the Constitutional Court to rule on whether or not the three grounds for abortion are constitutional.

SOURCE: Miles Chile, 3 August 2017 (in Spanish) http://mileschile.cl/?p=4853
Translated by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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Abortion Escorts in Ecuador are Breaking the Silence

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Abortion Escorts in Ecuador are Breaking the Silence
August 3, 2017
by Kimberley Brown

Abortions are illegal in Ecuador—punishable by prison sentence and highly stigmatized. But this hasn’t stopped women from seeking them out. Instead, they go through the procedure clandestinely, under dubious circumstances and often completely alone. One group is trying to change that.

Las Comadres—which loosely translates as The Godmothers, or “a very close friend”—is a feminist group fighting back against the nation’s restrictive abortion laws. Members accompany women through their abortion procedures and provide them with medical and legal information. Last weekend, they ran their first national workshop walking women through the process.

The two-day abortion accompaniment workshop focused on these legal, medical and psychological issues women may face, and how to be prepared for them.

Continued at source: Ms. Magazine: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/08/03/abortion-escorts-ecuador-breaking-silence/

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Argentina: Macri’s Minister Compares Abortion to Femicide, Sparks Outrage

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Macri's Minister Compares Abortion to Femicide, Sparks Outrage

Published 1 August 2017
teleSUR

#NiUnaMenos, or #NotOneLess, is a movement that protests against femicides — the murder of women in most cases by their partner or ex-partners.

A former minister of Argentina's governing party has sparked outrage after comparing abortion to femicide, claiming that activists from the #NiUnaMenos movement were guilty of femicide if they decided to abort of a baby girl.

During a campaign speech, Esteban Bullrich coopted the anti-femicide rallying cry "Ni Una Menos" or "Not One Less" to argue against abortion rights.

Continued at source: TelesurTV: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Macris-Minister-Compares-Abortion-to-Femicide-Sparks-Outrage-20170801-0039.html

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“Niñas, No Madres” (Girls, Not Mothers) regional campaign, Latin America

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“Niñas, No Madres” (Girls, Not Mothers) regional campaign, Latin America

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
July 28, 2017

Planned Parenthood Global, Amnesty International, Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida Mexico (GIRE) and Latin American Campaign against Unsafe Abortion (CLACAI) have joined efforts to raise awareness on forced motherhood and its impact on girls’ lives and futures across Latin America through the “Niñas, No Madres” (Girls, Not Mothers) regional campaign.  The campaign calls for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and safe, legal abortion services to end forced motherhood in girls in Latin America.

In the framework of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, the campaign launched a call to women to share on social media what was their dream when they were girls, along with a childhood photo. The response was amazing: women from all over the region lit up social media with the hashtag #NiñasNoMadres. The timelines, full of cute pictures, brought attention to the toll that forced motherhood has taken on thousands of girls in the region. More than 40 national and international media outlets published pieces about the campaign, including Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and  AJ+.

Latin America is the only region in the world where births among girls under 15 years old is on the rise. Forced motherhood in girls is an urgent public health and human rights problem.

In Guatemala, five girls under the age of 14 become pregnant every day. In Nicaragua, the number of pregnant girls aged 10-14 years old increased 47% from 2001 to 2009. In Ecuador, pregnancy among girls under the age of 15 has increased by 74% in the last decade. In Peru, every year, more than 1,100 births are to girls 12-13 years old.

Planned Parenthood Global has produced the report “Stolen Lives” in English and Spanish, which summarizes qualitative and quantitative research conducted in Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru to document the dire physical, mental, and social health consequences of forced pregnancy on girls living in these countries. This report was used as input for the Hemispheric Report on Sexual Violence and Child Pregnancy recently released by the Organization of American States’ Committee of Experts of the Follow-Up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI), which issues recommendations to States, including “ensuring that all pregnancies in girls are considered high risk and allowing legal termination of pregnancy.”

Join us in demanding a better future for girls in Latin America. Follow the campaign on Facebook @ninasnomadres and visit http://www.ninasnomadres.org for more information.

SOURCE: Planned Parenthood Global, email 17 July 2017

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/ninas-no-madres-girls-not-mothers-regional-campaign-latin-america/

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Chile – Abortion on three grounds: lack of preparedness and ineffectiveness of the State in the handling of women’s rights

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Chile – Abortion on three grounds: lack of preparedness and ineffectiveness of the State in the handling of women's rights

July 21, 2017, International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

As we reported in Campaign news on Wednesday, 18 July, repeated in our newsletter earlier today, on Tuesday night the last Committee in the Chilean congress passed the abortion bill with all three grounds for abortion intact. On Wednesday, it was passed in the Senate. Then, yesterday, Thursday 20 July, it went back to the full Chamber of Deputies, which had passed it a year ago. It was also expected to pass there. However, when the vote finally came last night, the bill fell by one vote because one member of the ruling coalition, which supports the bill, unexpectedly abstained, and several others were absent.

In response, Miles Chile and thousands of supporters of the bill gathered in the Plaza Italia, on the steps of the congress building, to protest. In a news report published today, 21 June, Miles Chile held the legislative and executive powers responsible and described the fiasco as an "embarrassing blunder that exposes the ineffectiveness of the political class".

Claudia Dides, Director of Miles Chile, said: "Everyone knows that some deputies and senators will always be absent for any vote, but this could and should have been taken into account by the ruling coalition and this outcome prevented. It is well known, they said, that when it comes to dealing with a draft law, its passage should never be taken for granted until it actually becomes law. This negligence on the part of the government is insulting to the human rights of women."

She added: "The opposition, who steadily torpedoed this draft law, were violating basic human rights and even plan an appeal to the Constitutional Court against the bill if it becomes law, for it to be declared unconstitutional. This persistent rejection by sectors of the population who obey only their own religious beliefs, instead of supporting a secular State, will go down in history in the same way as those who denied women the right to vote."

The protest was "against a National Congress that denies the most basic human rights of women and against an Executive that, in spite of knowing full well the difficulties and obstacles over many years in all the attempts to pass this into law, were just not up to the job at the final moment".

It is not over yet, however. Claudia Dides concluded by announcing: "We will be watching what happens next very closely, as the legislature negotiates a conclusion regarding this bill, and in particular we will be watching what happens in the Constitutional Court, because we do not rule out appealing to that Court ourselves."

SOURCE: Miles Chile, translated from the Spanish, 21 July 2017 (http://mileschile.cl/?p=4778)

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