Target: National Congress of Chile
Goal: Tell the National Congress of Chile to pass law to allow medically needed abortions, and prevent the imprisonment of innocent women
A 17-year-old girl was recently arrested in Chile after arriving at a hospital with traumatic bleeding, the result of a “back-alley” abortion. Currently no abortions are allowed in the country, even in cases of rape, incest, or medical reasons. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is currently fighting a tough conservative force in congress to make safe medical abortions available for Chilean women.
The young woman, who is facing three to five years in prison, was arrested when officials were called by the Santiago hospital. However, she is certainly not alone: the Ministry of Health of Chile estimates nearly 150,000 abortions are performed illegally every year due to the country’s rigid laws. Although once legal, medically-justified abortions became outlawed in 1989, during the ultra-conservative dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Now, even victims of rape or incest, or whose pregnancy poses a health risk, must carry to term or risk prison time.
Currently, President Bachelet is submitting a proposal to Congress for what she calls the “three extreme situations”, saying that “Chile needs to engage in a mature and informed dialogue” on the subject. “Every single month, we have three or four women die from [illegal] abortions,” she said.
It is time that the National Congress of Chile provides safe medical treatment to its female citizens, and stop criminalizing those who seek it. Sign below, and support President Bachelet in her fight to make medical abortions legal in Chile.
Dear National Congress of Chile,
Recently, a young woman was arrested after nearly bleeding to death from an illegally performed abortion. She was forced to receive this abortion in a dangerous, non-sterile environment because access to safe medical procedures was not available to her. This needs to change.
The current laws of Chile make it illegal to receive an abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, or pregnancies that pose a health risk. However, these laws aren’t preventing abortions; it is estimated that 150,000 abortions are still performed annually. Rather, this law is preventing access to medical care for women, leading to three to four women dying a month from “back-alley” abortions. The women of your country deserve better.
Currently, President Bachelet is proposing a bill to allow medically-justified abortions available to Chilean women. This bill would provide access to safe medical treatment for those women who desperately need it. I urge you to think of the citizens you are chosen to represent and do the right thing. Pass the bill to allow medically needed abortions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Stéphane M. Grueso, via Wikimedia Commons