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Chile Congress relaxes ban on abortion

[JURIST] The Chilean Congress [official website, in Spanish] passed a bill late Wednesday night [press release, in Spanish] that would would allow abortions in instances of rape, threat to the mother's health, and fetal abnormality "incompatible with life." The 70 to 45 vote was the result of a year-long struggle by pro-life Chilean senators. Currently, Chile is one of a few nations where abortion is illegal in all instances. The bill must now obtain approval from Chile's Constitutional Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] before going into effect. The Tribunal is expected to issue its ruling in the coming weeks.

Female access to equitable health care services has been a contentious and evolving battle throughout the world, especially with regards to reproductive and sexual health. In June the UN Human Rights Committee [official website] found [JURIST report] that Ireland must remedy harm done to a woman in 2010 after denying her an abortion. Under threat of President Trump's vow to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Delaware legislature [official website] approved a bill [JURIST report] that guarantees access to abortion. Last June the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law called on [JURIST report] the world's governments to take quick, effective steps towards ensuring women are granted equal rights to health. The report refers to the "instrumentalization" of women in the healthcare system, in particular, the "subjection of women's natural biological functions to a politicized patriarchal agenda." Earlier that month independent experts for the UN found [JURIST report] a woman faced "inhumane treatment" while seeking an abortion procedure in Northern Ireland. In the press release, the experts called upon countries to more effectively balance the rights of the fetus with the rights of the woman, viewing her as more than just a mechanism for child-bearing. In February, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged [JURIST report] all countries to eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation by 2030.

A previous version incorrectly indicated that the law would allow abortions pre-viability.
August 22, 2017 10:53 AM

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