Last week, Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet announced that she wished to revisit the debate on abortion in Chile. In recent weeks, the press has discussed several cases. According to the Ministry for Health, almost 150,000 abortions are practised each year with many of them being illegal.
A draft bill intended to launch “a national debate” is to be sent to Parliament over the coming months.
Following this announcement, the Chilean Catholic Church and some right wing parties reacted by denouncing the Chilean President’s preference to protect animal life over human life, referring to a recent draft bill aimed at protecting domestic animals. This reproach was echoed by former Centre-Right President, Sebastian Pinera: “It seems that more interest is being paid to the well being of domestic animals than to the life and dignity of unborn children“.
At the same time, almost 2,500 people demonstrated in front of the presidential palace in Santiago, opposing the draft bill for the decriminalisation of voluntary abortion. Julio Isamit, one of the demonstration organisers and a member of the “Chile Siempre” (Always Chile) Foundation made the following statement: “We invite people to demonstrate, to support us and say that we do not agree on the introduction of this act. We believe that there are better, more humane solutions for women“, like the creation of an adoption network and a system for the psychological and financial support of pregnant women.
Abortion is prohibited in two other Latin America countries, namely Nicaragua and Salvador.