The governing coalition of the Republic of Chile, in spite of heavy pressure from UN-based lobby groups, has voted to reject discussion of therapeutic abortion in the Chamber of Deputies.
A group of legislators, called the “pro-life parliamentary front,” won a healthy majority of votes (61-21) against a bid to legalize abortion. The Santiago Times reports that in the Chamber of Deputies, once an initiative is deemed inadmissible for discussion, there is no appeals process.
The multi-party coalition said their aim was to oppose “any type of…eugenic practice or euthanasia, any type of therapeutic, mutating or cloning savagery, or anything that manipulates life in any way.”
The group consists of members from the Independent Democratic Union (UDI) and National Revolution (RN) parties, as well as legislators from the Concertación’s Christian Democratic Party (DC) and Radical Socialist Democratic Party (PRSD).
Chile has been under pressure from United Nations-based population control groups to legalize abortion as part of a general push against the Catholic-majority countries of Latin America. Along with the tiny Mediterranean nation of Malta, which has an almost completely Catholic population and has steadfastly rejected legalized abortion, Chile has been named as a particular target by the UN-based groups and committees.
In September this year, a committee of Chilean mayors rejected another push by population control groups to make the abortifacient Morning After Pill available for free to girls as young as 14. The Chilean Supreme Court had ordered the distribution of the drug in a 2005 decision, a reversal of a 2001 decision recognizing the abortifacient nature of the drug.
In November 2004, the UN committee that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) ruled that Chile should allow abortion in cases of rape and incest.
A website of information on Chile published online by the US government says that the country has a birth rate of 2 children born per woman, a rate just slightly below the level necessary to maintain a stable population.
The Socialist Party and one member, Rene Alinco, of the Party for Democracy, proposed an initiative to discuss legalization. The bill’s supporters vowed to continue to explore various means to legalize abortion in Chile.