Chile Lifts Longtime Ban On Abortion

Grace Carr | Reporter

Chile’s Congress voted to allow abortions in a limited range of cases Wednesday, following a 30-year ban on all abortions.

Chilean lawmakers decided to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape, miscarriage, or risk to the mother’s life, according to Yahoo News. The measure was initially passed in mid July, but still had to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies.

The proposal to legalize abortion in some cases was introduced over two years ago, but received heavy resistance from the Catholic Church. (Related: Cops Drag Protesters Out Of Court As Chile Moves To Legalize Abortion).

Limited abortion was legal before 1989, but was outlawed by Dictator Augusto Pinochet when he took office. Under Chile’s previous law, would-be mothers that chose to abort faced up to to 50 years in prison.

The Chilean government reported over 70 percent of those who responded to a survey last year wanted to legalize limited abortions, Bloomberg Politics reported.

The concession to allow for limited abortions reflects the diminishing influence of social conservatives and strongly Catholic religious figures in the country, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) according to Time.

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