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Cops Drag Protesters Out Of Court As Chile Moves To Legalize Abortion

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Grace Carr Reporter
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Anti-abortion protesters stormed a Chilean court room and had to be dragged out by government police while the nation’s senators voted to legalize limited abortions late Tuesday night.

Chilean senators voted to decriminalize abortion in a limited range of cases, including rape, miscarriage and risk to the mother’s life, according to BBC News. President Michelle Bachelet supported the bill, and it will now travel to the Chamber of Deputies for approval.

Abortion was legal in some cases before 1989, but was outlawed when military general Augusto Pinochet took office. Abortion is illegal according to Chile’s current law, and would-be mothers that choose to abort face up to to 50 years in prison.

“I believe that women should have legally the possibility of making their own choices,” Bachelet told BBC in a 2016 interview. “In this country until now this is criminalized — if you interrupt your pregnancy, you will go to jail. And I believe this is not fair.”

The proposal to legalize abortion in certain cases was introduced over two years ago, but received heavy resistance from the Catholic Church.

“We want legislation to protect life, and this project breaks that principle,” said Hernán Larraín of the conservative Independent Democrat Union (UDI), according to Humanosphere. “This is a project that obviously would have to change our constitution to approve it, and I don’t think that is justified.”

Social conservatives protesting the bill were yelling and chanting at the hearing, expressing their strong opposition.

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