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19th July 2017, 19:00:15 UTC

The Chilean Chamber of Deputies has an historic opportunity to put the country on the right side of human rights, Amnesty International said ahead of a debate today on the potential decriminalization of abortion under three circumstances.

Late last night, the Chilean Senate passed a bill to decriminalize abortion under three circumstances: when the pregnancy results from rape or incest, when the life of the pregnant woman is at risk, and in cases of lethal foetal impairment.

“Chile is finally taking a step away from the small number of countries that still expose women and girls to terrible suffering due to the cruel and draconian laws and policies that violate their human right to make free choices about their own bodies, health and lives,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“This historic vote, although limited, is a testament to the tireless work done by activists in every corner of Chile to ensure the country respects and protects women’s rights.”

“Chile’s outrageous ban on abortion has no place in the country today. It is now in the hands of Chile’s deputies to ensure that this bill becomes law and that, in practice, women can access abortion services without undue restrictions, without discrimination and without being discriminated against or punished for the mere reason of being a woman.”

Seven countries in the Americas ban abortions in all circumstances: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile and Suriname

Read more:

Chile: Extreme anti-abortion law creates climate of fear and substandard health care for women (Report/News, 28 September 2015)