Monday, June 23, 2014

Chile to legalise abortion in certain circumstances

Chile’s UN Ambassador to Geneva H.E Ms Maria Maurás Pérez announced last Thursday (June 19th), during consideration of the outcome of Chile’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, that its current its pro-life laws will change and that abortion will be decriminalized in the following circumstances, in the case of rape, where a woman’s life is in danger and when a foetus is not viable.’

Pérez told the meeting that following the election of Michele Bachelet, as Chile’s President and the first 100 days of her Government, Chile would introduce a new gender agenda dealing with the rights equality and autonomy of women and will nominate a minister for women and gender equity. Ms Pérez explained that her government is concerned about violence and discrimination against women and will defend further the sexual and reproductive rights of all persons. Pérez continued by stating that her government will decriminalize termination of pregnancy in three areas, where the life of the mother is in danger, where a foetus is unviable and in the case of rape. Abortion is currently
completely illegal in Chile.
Pérez announced Chile’s commitment to implement 180 of the 185 suggestions in the UPR including a number of proposals put forth by other member states that Chile change its longstanding stance on the protection of the unborn.
Among the five rejected suggestions was the appeal by the Holy See that Chile continue its legal protection of the human person from the moment of conception, and that it safeguard marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The basis of the review was set out in two reports A/HRC/26/5 and 26/5 Addendum1. The main report 26/5 shows that 7 European Countries pressured Chile to repeal all laws criminalizing abortion and to take all necessary measures to ensure so called safe and legal abortion in cases of rape or incest and in cases of serious danger for the health of women and a number of countries also called on Chile to make sure that sexual and reproductive rights are respected and protected.

It is clear from both documents 26/5 and 26/5 Addendum 1 that the intention of the previous government was to reject the pressure from other member states

Marianne Lillebleg for Amnesty International welcomed Chile’s rejection of the Holy See’s recommendation that Chile should uphold and respect the rights of the human person from the moment of conception to natural death, which she falsely claimed, could have placed women’s lives in danger.