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