Chile Overwhelmingly Rejects New Constitution That Would Have Legalized Abortion

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 7, 2022   |   4:52PM   |   Santiago, Chile

Voters in Chile overwhelmingly rejected a new constitution Sunday that would have stripped away unborn babies’ right to life and legalized abortion on demand.

The Washington Times reports just 38 percent of voters supported the “progressive” constitution while 62 percent rejected it.

Part of leftist President Gabriel Boric’s agenda, the proposed constitution included many changes to the South American country’s laws, according to Newsweek. Among them were the legalization of abortion on demand, government-run health care, the abolition of the Senate and environmental measures.

As a result of the vote, Chile will continue to protect unborn babies from abortion. Exceptions are allowed when the mother’s life is at risk or she is a victim of rape.

Constanza Saavedra, with the Chilean pro-life group Testimonios por la Vida, celebrated the news on Twitter, saying the vote gives her hope for the future.

“With joy and hope in a better Chile, with changes that unite us, seeking to improve the quality of life for all, surpassing ourselves and moving forward,” Saavedra wrote. “Leaving setbacks, divisions and hatred behind. A Chile in which we can all continue to proudly say: Viva Chile!”

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Catholic Bishop Isauro Covili Linfati, of Iquique, also expressed joy at the election results Sunday, saying democracy won against “a minority [that] intended to impose its vision and its will,” CNA reports.

“It is a text that, despite having very good themes, was destined not to be accepted by the majority, especially for introducing abortion on demand and euthanasia among other issues,” Linfati said.

Here’s more from the Times:

NPR reported that the text of the new constitution called for legalized abortion, gender parity in government offices, the abolition of Chile’s Senate and the establishment of autonomous Indigenous territories.

It would have also called for universal health care, the right to decent housing, education and pensions, all of which would have brought on steep tax increases.

Chile is a pro-life country. An August 2021 poll from Cadem found strong public opposition to legalizing the killing of unborn babies in abortions. According to Newsweek, 52 percent opposed legislation to allow abortions up to 14 weeks while 46 percent supported it.

The Chilean legislature repeatedly has rejected pro-abortion legislation, including a bill in November to allow abortions up to 14 weeks.

However, pro-abortion groups, funded by some of the richest men in the world, are putting pressure on Central and South American countries to legalize abortions. The United Nations, many European countries and President Joe Biden’s administration are as well. Argentina caved to the pressure in 2020, and the Mexico Supreme Court issued a decision in 2021 that could threaten pro-life laws across the country.

For many years, abortion activists have been working to chip away at Chile’s pro-life laws. In 2017, the country’s highest court ruled that legislation to allow abortions in cases of rape, fatal fetal anomalies and dangers to the woman’s life is constitutional. Reporters witnessed pro-life women crying in the streets after the ruling was announced.