Chile voters reject conservative proposal to replace dictatorship-era constitution

Latest attempt at new charter drew controversy over social rights, abortion articles

The Associated Press
Dec 17, 2023

Chilean voters rejected on Sunday a proposed conservative constitution to replace the country's dictatorship-era charter. With 96 per cent of votes counted late Sunday, about 55.8 per cent had voted No to the new charter, with about 44.2 per cent in favour.

… One of the most controversial articles in the proposed new draft said that "the law protects the life of the unborn," with a slight change in wording from the current document that some have warned could make abortion fully illegal in the South American country. Chilean law currently allows the interruption of pregnancies for three reasons: rape, an unviable fetus and risk to the life of the mother.


Chile voters sour on right-wing constitution as abortion clause stirs debate

By Natalia A. Ramos Miranda, and Lucinda Elliott
October 6, 2023

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Voters are souring on Chile's second, conservative-led attempt at drafting a new constitution as a bid to further tighten the country's already restrictive abortion laws and other moves to the right threaten to turn off a majority of voters.

More than half of Chileans, 54% of respondents surveyed before the draft text was completed this week, plan on voting against the new constitution, according to pollster Cadem.


Demonstrators across Latin America demand abortion rights

September 28, 2023

Americas Desk, Sep 28 (EFE).- The Day for Decriminalization and Legalization of Abortion drew demonstrations all over Latin America on Thursday to address a lack of protection in countries such as El Salvador, fear of losing rights in Argentina, intense political debates in Brazil and progress in Mexico.

In El Salvador, activists from the Feminist Assembly denounced the total criminalization of abortion as the “greatest expression of violence” against women, who can be accused of aggravated homicide and sentenced to 30 years in prison, even in cases of miscarriage.

Continued :

Abortion Rules in Chile Survive Threat of Constitutional Rewrite

Eduardo Thomson, Bloomberg News
Sep 15, 2023

An clause in the draft of Chile’s new constitution that would have annulled current abortion rules in the South American country failed to reach enough support in a vote Friday.

The article stating “all human beings are persons” won 29 votes in favor, 17 against and 4 abstentions at the Constitutional Council. It needed 30 votes to pass. Several council members had warned the clause would have made current abortion rules unconstitutional.

Chile allows abortions only in three cases: rape, risks to the mother’s life, or if the baby has a medical condition that means it isn’t expected to survive. The current law was approved in 2017 during the second government of Michelle Bachelet.

The abstentions Friday were among council members from the center-right Chile Vamos coalition and show a break from the majority right-wing Republicanos party, Claudio Fuentes, a political scientist at Universidad Diego Portales, said on social media.


Chilean anti-abortion group in legal fight to keep donors secret

A year-long investigation reveals how powerful anti-rights groups are influencing politics and protecting donors

Paulette Desormeaux, Catalina Gaete
13 September 2023

A wealthy and well-connected anti-abortion group has gone to court to block the disclosure of its private donors following an investigation by openDemocracy and La Pública.

It comes after a year-long effort by the two news organisations that reveals how three powerful anti-rights nonprofits in Chile are using legal loopholes to protect the identity of funders while influencing politicians to limit reproductive and equal rights for women and LGBTIQ communities.


‘Gigantic step backwards’: far-right gains in Chile threaten abortion rights

Concerns mount as ultraconservative Republican party’s ‘right to life’ proposal could be enshrined in constitution

John Bartlett
Mon 21 Aug 2023

The hard-won right to an abortion in Chile is at risk of being overturned, activists have warned, as the country’s far right moves to enshrine protection for “the life of the unborn child and maternity” in a new constitution.

Concerns have grown over the ultraconservative Republican party’s plans to pare back reproductive rights in Chile as it now holds significant sway in the fate of the country’s constitutional saga.


Chile’s abortion rights movement faces uphill battle

Advocates say fight continues despite rejection of new constitution last year that would have enshrined reproductive rights.

By Charis McGowan
10 Mar 2023

Santiago, Chile – Siomara Molina stands on the steps of the Chilean National Library on a busy street in the heart of Chile’s capital.

Waving fists in the air and wearing green scarves, symbolic of the Latin American movement for abortion rights, Molina and the dozens of women around her chant: “Abortion yes, abortion no, that’s my decision”.


‘Outsider Girls,’ Chilean Dramedy About Abortion Dilemma, Debuts Trailer Ahead of Rotterdam Premiere

By Anna Marie de la Fuente
Jan 30, 2023

Niña Niño Films’ “Outsider Girls” (“Las Demás”), the debut feature of rising Chilean talent Alexandra Hyland, which world premieres in the Bright Future sidebar of Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam, has bowed its trailer exclusively with Variety.

Hyland was named one of Variety’s Five Chilean Talents to Watch in 2018. Her feature debut follows best friends Gaby (played by Alicia Luz Rodriguez) and Rafa (Nicole Sazo), two college girls whose pink-hued oasis is disrupted when Rafa gets pregnant after a night of debauchery. Given Chile’s ultra-conservative society, abortion is illegal except in extreme cases. They set out to earn enough to pay for the pricey abortion pills through a series of oddball part-time jobs, straining their friendship in the process.


What The Green Scarf Means In The Fight For Reproductive Rights

MAY 17, 2022

When a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in early May revealed that Rove v. Wade will likely be overturned, protests broke out across the country, as activists pushed for lawmakers to codify the landmark decision that protected a pregnant person’s right to choose abortion via the Women’s Health Protection Act. Over the weekend, the New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America held a march and called on all the attendees to wear green and “bring your green bandana.” Similar protests were held in cities like Miami and Washington, D.C., where many attendees likewise sported green scarves on their wrists and necks.

While the green scarf may be the new symbol of the pro-abortion fight in the U.S, it's been around for at least a decade. In fact, it emerged in Argentina in the late 2010s, as the country’s activists fought to decriminalize abortion in a sweeping movement that earned them the title “Marea Verde” or “Green Wave.”


How Latin American women are winning the battle for abortion rights

Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have recently legalised or decriminalised abortion. Could Chile be next?

Diana Cariboni
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.