American Abortion Activists Pressuring Chile to Legalize Abortion

International   |   Marie Smith   |   Jun 1, 2017   |   6:55PM   |   Washington, DC

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a hearing on legislation in Chile to overturn the law banning all abortions. The hearing was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the request of US-based Center for Reproductive Rights and Chilean NGOs Miles Chile and the Isabel Allende Foundation.

Despite having the lowest rate of maternal mortality in Latin America and the Caribbean, pressure has been increasing for legislators to add legal exceptions to the law. The IACHR heard testimony in favor of abandoning pro-life protections and a request that the IACHR contact the Chilean Congress in support of the legislation.

Commissions in the Chilean Senate have been considering the technical aspects of the legislation to allow abortion for cases of “life-endangerment, sexual violence, and fatal fetal impairments”. Lilian Sepúlveda, vice president of the Global Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights said: “The Inter-American Commission and reproductive health allies worldwide must continue to press the Chilean Congress to pass this critical abortion bill.”

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The Isabel Allende Foundation founded by the Chilean novelist, funds pro-abortion organizations in Chile and the US including the Center for Reproductive Rights, MILES Chile, Human Rights Watch, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood. Note:  Marie Smith is the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.