Abortion in Chile: Respect the dignity and decisions of women

7 March, 2016


RHM endorsed a letter to President Bachelet, Nueva Mayoria Coalition, and Chilean Congress from Corporación Humanas, Amnesty International Chile, Observatorio de Género y Equidad, Fondo Alquimia, APROFA, Centro Estudios de la Mujer, Corporación MILES, Corporación Mujeres Lideres para Chile, Fundación Iguales, Instituto de la Mujer, Instituto Igualdad, Observatorio contra el Acoso Callejero, Revolución Democrática, and Colectivo Lemebel (a high school organization):

“One year on from the introduction of a bill in the Chilean Congress that legalizes abortion on three grounds, and weeks away from completing the first half of her term as President of Chile, we are calling on President Bachelet and her coalition, Nueva Mayoría, to give a strong political signal and a guarantee that they will carry out their emblematic commitment to Chilean women to reform the law on abortion (…)

“The bill, sponsored by the Government, legalizes abortion on three grounds, safeguards the dignity and decisions of women, and ensures the provision of timely and adequate health care in these cases. It constitutes an ethical imperative, which Chile must secure for women and girls. This commitment by President Bachelet will not be met if:

  • the duty of medical confidentiality is not guaranteed;
  • conscientious objection is extended beyond individuals to the health care team or to health institutions;
  • counselling or accompaniment is dissuasive and intended to deter;
  • women over 18 years old are forced to report the rape in order to access a legal abortion; or
  • the upper time limit for terminating the pregnancy makes it impracticable to access abortion in time.

In each of these situations, women’s and girls’ human rights would be violated, because their decisions would be undermined or annulled, and become irrelevant.

The signatories to this petition, both individuals and organizations, call upon:

  • the Chilean Congress to respect the ethical imperative of the Government’s bill and,
  • President Bachelet and the Nueva Mayoría coalition to uphold your commitment to ensure this bill becomes law, as laid out in the Government programme.”