Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have recently legalised or decriminalised abortion. Could Chile be next?
29 April 2022
It was inconceivable, just five years ago, that ultra-conservative Colombia would decriminalise abortion, or that Catholic, neoliberal Chile would be gearing up to vote on a new constitution that enshrines sexual and reproductive rights, including on-request abortion.
Yet in February, Colombia’s constitutional court removed abortion (up to 24 weeks) from the criminal code in response to a court case brought by Causa Justa – the spearhead of a wide-ranging social and legal campaign of more than 120 groups and thousands of activists.
By Alexander Villegas
Posted on March 16, 2022
SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s divisive battle over abortion rights could get a central role in the Andean country’s planned new constitution after an assembly voted to approve part of the draft text that calls on the state to guarantee women’s reproductive rights.
A week after thousands of women marched through the streets of Santiago on International Women’s Day, Chile’s constituent assembly voted to include reproductive rights, including “a voluntary interruption of pregnancy” in the draft constitution.
The draft of the new Constitution should be ready in July
March 15, 2022
Paragraph two of article 16 on sexual and reproductive rights of the new Magna Carta that is debated in the Constitutional Convention of Chile proposes to transform into law the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. The right – entered through the mechanism of “popular initiative” – was incorporated into the text of the new constitution with more than two thirds of the votes of the constituents.
The draft of the new Constitution - It should be ready in July to then be put to a citizenship plebiscite. The incorporation of the right to abortion was approved by 108 conventions (they needed 103), it had 39 rejections and six abstentions. “The State guarantees the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights without discrimination, with a focus on gender, inclusion and cultural belonging,” says the paragraph.
by Fabian Cambero
Nov 30, 2021
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile's lower Chamber of Deputies rejected a bill on Tuesday that sought to expand legal access for women to get abortions, legislation that was opposed by the South American country's center-right government.
At the end of
September, legislators in the chamber voted in favor of studying and debating
the bill, that proposed legalizing termination of pregnancy up to 14 weeks.
Sep 28, 2021
By Ana Isabel Martinez and Gerardo Arbaiza
SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – Scores of people in El Salvador waved green flags and marched through the capital San Salvador en route to Congress to demand loosening of the country’s “strict” abortion laws, with similar protests planned across Latin American cities.
Holding up banners saying “it’s our right to decide” and “legal abortion, safe and free,” the mostly-women protesters met as part of the “International Safe Abortion Day” being marked around the globe.
Proposed bill to legalise abortion up to 14 weeks hailed by Chilean legislator as ‘tremendous’ step for women’s rights.
28 Sep 2021
Chile’s lower house of Congress has approved a plan to debate a bill that would expand women’s access to legal abortions, a “first step” that could see the country join a small but growing list of Latin American countries that are easing restrictions on the procedure.
Despite opposition from Chile’s centre-right government, the nation’s Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday passed the motion with 75 votes in favour versus 68 against, with two abstentions.
By Katy Watson, BBC South America correspondent
March 4, 2021
When Argentina's Congress voted to legalise abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy, Renata (not her real name) felt excited.
"How cool," the 20-year-old from
northern Brazil remembers thinking in late December. A student and supermarket
worker, Renata saw it as the start of something new in a region where abortion
is mostly illegal.
But she thought little more of it until a
week later, when she found out she was pregnant herself. Then, she says, her
By Mary Anne Webber
Mar 04, 2021
The government of Chile has provided hundreds of thousands of defective birth control pills to women that resulted in at least 140 unplanned pregnancies.
The birth control pill packs, which went by the name of Anulette CD, were packaged incorrectly, with the sugar pills or placebo, in the place of the active pills.
The public health system delivered, and then quietly recalled, 276,890 potentially flawed packets of birth control pills. At least 140 women believe they got pregnant because of the error.
by Ernesto Londoño, New York Times
March 2, 2021
There had to be a mistake, Melanie Riffo thought, staring in disbelief at the result of her pregnancy test: Positive.
She had been taking her birth control pills without fail, Ms. Riffo said. She and her boyfriend were careful. He’d even been told by doctors that a childhood ailment could have left him infertile.
February 19, 2021
By Carole Concha Bell
Abortion campaigners in Chile have been heartened by the recent legalization of abortion in neighboring Argentina and are currently presenting a bill for the decriminalization of abortion. But with a pro-life government and Senate inherited from the Pinochet regime (1973-90) any amendments to the existing law will be hard won.
Chile has one of the world’s most draconian abortion laws in the world. Dictator General Augusto Pinochet’s last act before leaving office in 1989 was to completely outlaw abortion and make it a punishable crime. It was not until 2017 that President Michelle Bachelet’s administration was able to amend the law to allow abortion in extreme cases. But women’s reproductive rights have come under attack again by far-right President Sebastian Pinera’s cabinet. In 2019 Pinera introduced an amendment allowing entire (private) hospitals and medical professionals to object to the procedure on grounds of “conscience.”