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Chile’s constitutional court approves abortion bill

Pro-life groups have vowed to make sure the law is restricted as much as possible

Chile’s constitutional court has ruled that a law liberalising the country’s abortion regulations is not unconstitutional.

In March last year, Chile’s lower house of Congress approved a bill that allows abortion in cases of rape, when there is a health risk for the mother or when the child is not viable. The bill was later approved by the Senate, but opponents challenged it in the Constitutional Court.

A coalition of opposition parties went to the court arguing that the law violates Article 19 of the Chilean constitution, which guarantees the right to life of the unborn child.

Cristóbal Aguilera, legislative advisor of the organisation Community and Justice, told ACI Prensa that opponents of the abortion law will continue fighting to make sure the law is restricted as much as possible in practice.

Patricia Gonnelle, legislative coordinator of ‘Chile es Vida’, described the verdict as a “historic mistake” and a “very sad day”.

She added it was “very serious” that the law now says the child in the womb is “not a person with rights”. However, she said that pro-life organisations “will carry on doing what they always do, which is helping women in situations of conflict and much pain, which they have always done for many years.”

“With an abortion law it will be much more difficult, but life always wins. It is a question of time, and that fills our hearts with joy”.

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