Chile Senate Passes Measure Aimed at Legalizing Abortion

International   |   Adam Cassandra   |   Sep 8, 2011   |   10:50AM   |   Santiago, Chile

Legislators in Chile’s Senate Health Commission have opened the door towards legalizing abortion in a country where abortion is illegal without exception.

According to a recent news report:

With three votes in favor and two votes against, the Senate Health Commission has approved the idea of legislating therapeutic abortions.

The initiatives will work to de-penalize certain types of abortions and to modify which types of abortion should be allowed under the Sanitary Code.

The approval allows the topic to be discussed in the Senate, where a debate will be held over whether abortion should be legal in cases of rape, medical risk to the mother or a stillborn fetus.

Earlier this year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Chile issued a statement rejecting any legislation that would decriminalize Chile’s restriction on abortion by allowing exceptions in the cases of rape, to save the life of the mother or fetal deformity.

“Situations like these, while rare, are a source of anguish, uncertainty and sorrow that must not be met with indifference,” the bishops said. “Neither the life of the mother nor that of the child can be the object of a direct act of elimination. There is only one option for both one and the other: every effort must be made to save both lives, that of the mother and that of the child”

“A society that eliminates [the weak and the sick] allows violence to become the way in which conflicts are resolved, thus becoming a dictatorship in which the strongest end up deciding the fate of the weakest. No one has the right to assume the power of deciding who deserves to live and who doesn’t,” according to the bishops.

Legislators in Poland recently lost a vote to criminalize the few abortion exceptions allowed under Polish law. The bill, which lost by a narrow margin, recognized that abortion in any circumstance is the murder of an innocent human life – a truth that is too often overlooked in the debate about abortion “rights.”

Chilean legislators must make this point clear in the coming debate. Note:  Reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum. Adam Cassandra is a Communications Specialist at Human Life International.