Chilean Senate Rejects Motions to Decriminalize Therapeutic Abortion

Last night, during their fourth session discussing a woman’s right to have an abortion in cases of a threat to the mother’s life or severe malformation of the fetus, the Chilean Senate voted 18-15 to reject the three motions that would decriminalize therapeutic abortion.

In a previous post (click here), I discussed how this issue is part of the Pinochet regime’s patriarchal legacy, as the regime criminalized abortion in its 1980 constitution, by which Chile continues to abide twenty years after the beginning of the transition to democracy.

Luckily, a separate legislation remains in the Senate’s Health Commission that proposes that it not be considered abortion to terminate a pregnancy that threatens the mother’s life.  Many senators who oppose therapeutic abortion have been agreeable to this idea but have resisted the idea of a woman’s right to terminate a pregancy in which the fetus is severely malformed.  Hopefully, then, in the near future it will become legal to abort to save a mother’s life, but I doubt that any type of abortion beyond that will be decriminalized anytime soon.

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