He seeks to amend the current abortion law, in force since 2017, that allows it on only three grounds.
France Press agency
Chile’s House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill to decriminalize abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, a landmark initiative that must now be voted on in the Senate.
The House and House of Representatives reported on Twitter that “with 75 votes in favour, 68 against and 2 abstentions, the House approved a bill to decriminalize consensual abortion by women during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.”
The initiative was approved to coincide with the International Day for “Legal and Safe Abortion”. Several cities in Chile are expected to be the scene of protests in favor of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy.
The motion, which was presented to Congress by progressive opposition lawmakers in 2018, seeks to amend the current abortion law, in force since 2017, that is allowed only on three grounds.
The three reasons are that there is a biological risk to the woman during pregnancy, that the fetus suffers from a congenital or genetic disease of a fatal nature or that the pregnancy is the result of rape.
The Chilean Penal Code sets prison sentences for all other grounds.
“Agree to decriminalize abortion! This applies to all women and pregnant women who have been persecuted and criminalized, especially if they have fewer resources,” said Communist MP Camila Vallejo on Twitter, Communist MP Camila Vallejo, one of the promoters of the proposal.
“Patriarchy will fall, it will fall, it will fall! Above, feminism, who will win, will win,” Vallejo added.
“Women shouldn’t go to prison for having an abortion! Motherhood will be desirable or not,” Socialist MP Maya Fernandez said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, conservative Senator Ivan Moreira criticized the House decision, saying, “Every day can get worse!” He wrote on Twitter “Free abortion, license to kill from the left.”
Sebastian Pinera’s conservative government opposed abortion law reform.
“There is no healthy reason to innovate in this. We want to point out that the position of the executive is the defense of life and we will continue to say that,” said Under Secretary for the President Maximo Pavez.
until it becomes law, The text must pass through the Senate. Previously, House lawmakers would define some aspects of the rule, but without changing its substance.
Until a few years ago, it was inconceivable that the Chilean Congress would debate a bill to decriminalize abortion due to the fierce opposition of the Catholic Church.
However, the church has been discredited in Chile by numerous sexual abuse scandals by priests, reducing its influence in public debate.
Now only 20% of Chileans trust the Church, according to a recent survey by the Center for Liberal Studies Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP).
The demonstrations are planned
Parallel to the parliamentary debate, demonstrations were held in favor of legal, safe and free abortion in Santiago and other Chilean cities, in the framework of the “World Day of Action for Legal and Safe Abortion”.
The current three-reason law covers only 3% of the thousands of clandestine abortions taking place in the country, say social movements that consider the current legislation insufficient.
The right to abortion is far from universal. A number of countries ban it outright, among them El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti.
In the United States, abortion has been covered since 1973, but many states restrict the practice significantly.
In December, Argentina approved the law of voluntary interruption of pregnancy until the 14th week of pregnancy, after a historic debate, thus becoming the largest country in Latin America where abortion is allowed, after Cuba, Uruguay and Guyana.
In Mexico it is allowed in the state of Oaxaca and Mexico City. (I)
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