Target: Isabel Allende, President of the Senate and Aldo Cornejo, President of the Chamber
Goal: Pass the congressional bill to revise Chile’s draconian abortion laws.
Rather than treat women in Chile, health professionals are expected to report them to the authorities if they suspect she has had an abortion. It doesn’t matter if the abortion was medically necessary. Abortion is illegal in Chile, and if a woman has one, she will face stiff consequences.
This ridiculous abortion ban is the result of the Chilean mentality that women are nothing more than “child-bearing vessels,” says Amnesty International’s Fernanda Doz Costa, and local Chilean women have corroborated Doz Costa’s sentiments. In two separate instances, women were denied the right to proper women’s healthcare within the South American Nation.
One woman, who spoke with Amnesty International under an assumed name, was told by her physician that she’d be reported if she sought an abortion to end her pregnancy. The woman was undergoing cancer treatment at the time she became pregnant, and an abortion was her only option to continue her cancer therapy. She terminated her pregnancy in a private clinic under false pretenses to save her life.
In another instance, a woman was told her baby would die within the first 24 hours after birth because it was developing with a fatal condition. Rather than allow this woman to terminate her pregnancy, she was forced to carry the infant to term, birth it, and then suffer the heartache of its death.
This cruel and inhumane treatment of women must be stopped, and now is the time to raise our voice in defense of women’s healthcare. Chile is currently discussing revising its abortion laws, and a bill is on the table to allow women to seek abortion legally if the mother or fetus’ health is at risk, or the mother became pregnant because she was raped. Let’s encourage the National Congress of Chile to pass this important bill.
Dear Honorable Allende and Honorable Cornejo,
It is my understanding that President Michelle Bachelet has introduced a very important bill to Congress to revise Chile’s outdated and dangerous abortion laws, and I cannot stress enough how important it is that both houses approve this bill. Women’s healthcare has made tremendous strides globally, and Chilean women should be afforded the same rights as those around the rest of the world.
Imagine undergoing cancer treatment only to become pregnant midway through and told that your life-saving treatments must be stopped because you’re expected to carry the baby to full term. Imagine being told you’ll die from the cancer, but at least you’ll have had the baby.
Imagine being told that your baby will die within 24 hours after it is born and there is nothing anyone can do to save it, and then being told you cannot terminate the pregnancy. Rather, you must carry the baby to term, deliver it, and then experience the traumatic heartbreak of it dying as predicted.
Think these scenarios are fiction? They are not. They are the real stories of two Chilean women who were denied the basic right to have an abortion and protect themselves from physical and emotional harm.
Please sign President Bachelet’s bill and give women the legal right to an abortion when extenuating circumstances are met that pose risk to the mother and/or baby or when a women has been impregnated by rape. No woman should ever have to go through what Chilean women are going through, as clearly seen by the examples above.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Leandro Kibisz