abortion has been prohibited under any circumstance in Chile due to a law enacted
under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. This week, legislators took a key step toward
easing the country’s draconian policy.
As reported by Reuters, Chile’s Health Commission voted
eight to five to advance President Michelle Bachelet’s groundbreaking proposal
to allow women access to safe and legal abortion services in cases of life-endangerment,
sexual violence, and fatal fetal impairments.
currently one of only six countries worldwide to ban abortion in all
quotes health commission deputy Gabriel Silber as saying “what we’re doing here is turning the state’s choice into a
choice for women” as he voted for the reform.
measure, which has stirred much debate in the legislature, will face another
vote in the health commission on whether to advance the law as proposed by
President Bachelet, including the three exceptions. To become law, the bill must
win simple majorities in both the lower house and the senate.