The proposal did not pass with 65 votes against, 62 in favour and one abstention. Since 2017, abortion is legal in Chile in cases of rape or danger for the life of the mother and the child.
The Chilean Lower House has announced that it “rejects a motion to amend the Penal Code to decriminalise consented abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The Bill is archived”.
Deputies had voted at the end of September to study and debate the draft law. However, after an intense debate, with 65 votes against, 62 in favour and one abstention, they have now decided not to move forward with the proposed law.
In 2017, during the socialist government of Michelle Bachelet, the Chilean Congress approved the legalisation of abortion, but only in three specific scenarios: when the mother's life is in danger, when the pregnancy is the result of rape or when the foetus presents complications.
Pro-life MPs have welcomed the decision. Diego Schalper of the National Renovation party, said that “a woman has the right over her body, but the unborn child is not part of it”.
“Not because crimes are committed abroad do I want them to be committed in Chile”, added Schalper, referring to the approval that took place in neighbouring Argentina in January 2021, which facilitated the discussion to return again to the Chilean parliament.
Rosario Corvalán, who works in the legislative area of the NGO Community and Justice, expressed her joy “for the result and for the message it leaves in the public arena”.
“They should stop giving us the message that the majority of citizens want these laws, because our representatives have spoken out and they don't want abortion”, she stressed.