In a monumental victory for women’s reproductive rights in Chile, the government’s Constitutional Tribunal voted to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape, fatal fetal impairment, or when a woman’s life is in danger.
This bill reinstates a fundamental human right that Chilean women lost 28 years ago under the political and military rule of Augusto Pinochet, and was achieved by a hard-fought battle by dozens of Chilean organizations, activists and civil society organizations, and supported by the commitment of President Michelle Bachelet.
At hearings held by the Constitutional Tribunal a week before the ruling, the Center’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Catalina Martinez Coral, testified before the court in support of the abortion bill. We also submitted an amicus brief demonstrating that the legislation was is in line with international and comparative legal standards, and delivered more than 6,800 petition signatures from people around the world calling on the Tribunal to lift the abortion ban.
The Constitutional Tribunal vote was the final step to make legal abortion services a reality for the women and girls of Chile, and one we’ve been fighting for more than a decade. Now the bill will head to President Bachelet’s desk for her to sign into law.
Published on August 21, 2017 on The Center for Reproductive Rights.
About sexual and reproductive health
"Women’s sexual and reproductive health is related to multiple human rights, including the right to life, the right to be free from torture, the right to health, the right to privacy, the right to education, and the prohibition of discrimination. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) have both clearly indicated that women’s right to health includes their sexual and reproductive health. This means that States have obligations to respect, protect and fulfill rights related to women’s sexual and reproductive health. The Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health maintains that women are entitled to reproductive health care services, goods and facilities that are: (a) available in adequate numbers; (b) accessible physically and economically; (c) accessible without discrimination; and (d) of good quality [see report A/61/338]."