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Chile’s Experience Reforming Abortion Law Can Serve As Example To Other Countries

New York Times: How Chile Ended Its Draconian Ban on Abortion
José Miguel Vivanco, director of the Americas division at Human Rights Watch, and Verónica Undurraga, professor of constitutional law at Adolfo Ibáñez University

“Last month, in a huge victory for Chile’s women, the Constitutional Court here upheld a long-awaited law that eases a total ban on abortion, raising hopes that other Latin American countries will soon reconsider their cruel restrictions on the procedure. The new Chilean law, passed by Congress in August, decriminalizes abortion under three circumstances: if the life of the pregnant woman is at risk; if the pregnancy is the result of rape; or if the fetus will not survive. … Chile’s experience can be an example of how to reform laws that forbid women from terminating tragic pregnancies. … The joint venture between government and nongovernmental organizations to open the debate on abortion marks a human rights watershed in Chile. But much still needs to be done. Chile retains many unreasonable obstacles to legal abortion … In the meantime, Chile’s breakthrough should encourage other countries to reconsider their harmful and regressive laws banning abortion” (9/1).

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