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August 23, 2017

President Bachelet: “We can proudly say that we have delivered on a key promise that we made to the women of our country”.

Following the Constitutional Court’s rejection of the challenges to the law to decriminalize voluntary termination of pregnancy in three situations, the initiative, which had already been approved by Congress, can now be passed into law.

In the O’Higgins Salon of La Moneda Presidential Palace, the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, discussed the Constitutional Court ruling that rejected challenges to the constitutionality of the terms of the bill to decriminalize voluntary termination of pregnancy in cases in which the woman’s life is at risk; in which the embryo or fetus presents congenital or genetic structural abnormalities that are incompatible with life; and when the pregnancy is the result of a rape. This clears the bill promoted by the Bachelet administration to be passed into law.

“With this ruling, Chilean women have gained, or regained, a basic right, which is to be able to make decisions for ourselves in extreme circumstances, particularly in circumstances that can be very painful”, the President said.

President Bachelet added, “decriminalizing the termination of a pregnancy in these three situations is, I believe, fundamental to the protection and dignity of every woman in Chile. Tolerance has won along with the humanization of our laws. We have to understand that not all women are equal in terms of their beliefs or the real personal, familial or emotional resources that they have to face this type of situation. In that sense, we are also recognizing the freedom to make a decision in dramatic circumstances and to allow each woman to choose the road that she will travel based on her own values, religion, principles or real options”.

She highlighted the fact that, “today we can proudly say that we have delivered on a key promise that we made to the women of our country”.

She added, “some women may not agree with this. Their rights are protected. In taking this step, we are also protecting the rights of other women whose circumstances are different and who might or might not make a particular decision and who previously, had they taken the decision to terminate their pregnancy, could have been penalized and even faced jail time”.

President Bachelet concluded, “today, women have won, democracy has won, and Chile has won”

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