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  HOME | Chile

Chile to Ease Abortion Ban

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.

 

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