In Chile, the Senate is about to finalise the voting of a draft bill which would decriminalise abortion in three situations (see Chile authorises abortion for three reasons: risk to the mother, rape and foetal malformation and Chile: senators approved a draft bill to decriminalise abortion). Last week, Parliament discussed “a programme to help women who decide to keep their child and conscientious objection for carers”.
The draft decriminalisation bill initially included a conscience clause, but only for the surgeon responsible for carrying out the abortion. The rest of the medical team would be obliged to carry out such procedures. And abortion, which is deemed to be “a legitimate health service”,could then be practised in all health establishments, regardless of their values.
Some senators have suggested that health establishments should exercise their own discretion when it comes to performing abortions: “We are in the process of infringing freedom of conscience, which is entrenched in our Constitution”. This is an argument that Women’s Minister, Claudia Pascual, refuses to take into consideration.