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  • Women demand safe abortion law, Santiago, Chile, July 26, 2019.

    Women demand safe abortion law, Santiago, Chile, July 26, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ age-JF

Published 12 January 2021
Opinion

The safe abortion bill will be debated by the House of Representatives' Women Commission.

Chile's President Sebastian Piñera opposes safe abortion ahead of Congress debate on a bill that would legalize voluntary interruption of pregnancy.

RELATED:

Chile: Opposition Introduces Bill to Legalize Abortion

"Piñera rejects abortion without a cause. Although Parliament debates it, he does not support it," Government spokesman Jaime Bellolio said.

The bill that guarantees safe abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy will be debated by the House of Representatives' Women and Equity Commission on Wednesday. 

"We will discuss it rigorously," Commission Chairwoman Maite Orsini said, stressing that Piñera has defended his anti-abortion position since the beginning of his election campaign.

However, the Piñera administration did not mention whether it planned to veto the bill if Congress endorses it.

In 2017, Chile passed a bill that guaranteed safe abortion in cases of rape, fetus malformations, or risk to the mother's life.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only one out of four abortions performed in Latin America is safe. Women often end their pregnancies through clandestine methods.

On December 30, Argentina's Senate passed a bill allowing free and legal access to abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy. The news prompted other Latin American countries to take up safe abortion discussions. 

In Latin America, safe abortion is legal only in Argentina, Cuba, Guyana, Uruguay, and some Mexican States.

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