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Leaders in Chile consider constitutional protections for the preborn

by | Aug 25, 2023

By Bridget Sielicki 

Leaders in Chile are looking to protect preborn lives by passing a new constitution that would protect “the life of the unborn child and maternity.”

According to The Guardian, the country’s Republican party, which is considered conservative, swept elections for a new constitutional council in May. The council is now working on a draft constitution that would reinforce pro-life protections and restrict abortion. Abortion is currently legal in the country when the mother’s life is said to be at risk, when the preborn child has a diagnosis believed to be fatal, or in cases of rape during the first 12 weeks.

Abortion supporters are fighting the proposal, arguing that without abortion, women and children are at greater risk.

“Clearly, there is great concern over the risks to women and children implied by the suggested amendments, which threaten the most basic rights of human beings,” said Lieta Vivaldi, the director of Alberto Hurtado University’s gender and social justice program. “In a nation which seeks equality and justice, it is intolerable.”

But ending the lives of preborn human beings through starvation, poisoning, suction, dismemberment, or lethal injection violate the most basic human right of all: the right to life. Therefore, killing an innocent human being cannot reasonably be considered a “human right.”

The pro-abortion group Miles Chile has sent a letter with nearly 750 signatures denouncing the new proposal, noting that the “Republican party … wishes to impose practices which threaten the rights of women, relegating their lives to second-class [status].”

“It would be a gigantic step backwards for women’s rights in Chile,” said Stephanie Otth Varnava, Miles Chile’s investigations coordinator. “It would mean joining us to a very small group of countries which have penalized abortion in any context.”

In September 2022, voters in the country soundly rejected a constitution that would have allowed abortion on demand, while in 2021, lawmakers voted down a bill to allow abortion on demand during the first trimester.

Now, with the change in political leadership, government officials have a chance to draft a constitution that would seemingly reflect the views of the people. After May’s election, Republican Party spokesperson and Constitutional Council member Luis Silva Irarrázaval told reporters he will “oppose abortion as a right” and that “women’s reproductive rights are not essential to a constitution.” This reflects the attitude of Republican Party leader José Antonio Kast, a pro-life Catholic who promoted the protection of all lives from conception to natural death during a previous campaign.

According to Bloomberg, Chileans will vote on a final draft of the constitution in December.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Legislation