Target: President of the Senate of Chile Isabel Allende and President of the Chamber of Deputies, Aldo Cornejo
Goal: Lift total abortion ban to save the lives of women and girls.
Since 1989, Chile has imposed a total moratorium on abortion and offenders face up to five years of incarceration. This law does not prevent abortions from taking place, nor does it take into account the many circumstances in which the abortion moratorium means unnecessary death for innocent women and further trauma for victims. A recently tabled bill brought to congress by President Michelle Bachelet proposes to lift the ban in certain situations, but the bill requires support to be passed into law.
A total abortion ban means that women and girls who have been raped and become pregnant are not allowed to receive abortions, nor are women whose lives are put in danger by their pregnancy. Women cannot seek abortions when the likelihood of their baby’s survival or full-term birth is slim to none. The recently proposed bill would allow women and girls 14 years and older to access abortions in these select cases up to the 12th week of pregnancy and up to the 18th week for girls younger than 14.
Estimates of the number of unsafe back-alley abortions in Chile range from 15,000 to 160,000 per year, and while the exact number cannot be known, it is clear that women will continue to seek out such services even if they remain illegal. The true power the Chilean government holds over abortions is not whether they are performed, but whether they are performed safely.
Innumerable lives are at risk if abortions remain completely illegal in Chile. This law does not pose a question of moral judgment, but of compassion. Urge the Congress of Chile to lift its total ban on abortion to save the lives of its citizens.
Dear Ms. Allende and Mr. Cornejo,
Chile’s total abortion ban puts the lives of Chilean women and girls at serious risk. The law does not stop abortions from being performed, but instead puts the lives of citizens into the hands of untrained abortion “specialists” in unsafe “clinics” throughout the country.
Victims of rape, young and old, face the further trauma of being forced to give birth to their rapist’s child, which poses mental and emotional trauma to all victims and great physical trauma to the youngest victims. I urge you to sign President Bachelet’s proposed bill into law to save countless Chilean lives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alex Proimos via Wikimedia Commons