SANTIAGO – President Michelle Bachelet hailed Monday’s decision by the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal ratifying the legality of a measure to decriminalize abortion under certain circumstances.
“Women, democracy and Chile have won,” she said in a brief address at La Moneda palace.
The tribunal’s ruling clears the way for Bachelet to sign into law a measure already passed by Congress that would permit abortion in cases of fetal inviability, danger to the mother’s life or rape.
After four hours of discussion, the court voted 6-4 to uphold the constitutionality of the legislation in the face of legal challenges from the Chilean right.
“We can say with pride that we are fulfilling a fundamental commitment that we made to the women of our country,” Bachelet said. “We have waged a long battle with the weapons of democracy.”
The president, herself a physician, pointed out that Chile’s abortion ban has forced many women to continue “inviable pregnancies.”
Fewer than a dozen countries continue to prohibit abortion in all circumstances.