Chilean citizens have voted overwhelmingly to reject a new constitution that would have introduced abortion and removed the current legal protections for unborn children.
62% of Chilean voters rejected the proposed constitution, which committed the state to universal healthcare, various environmental regulations and, perhaps most controversially, included the national legalisation of abortion.
Article 61 of the rejected Constitution stated: “Every person has sexual and reproductive rights. These include, among others, the right to make free, autonomous and informed decisions about one’s own body, the exercise of sexuality, reproduction, pleasure and contraception”. This article then went on to specifically mention “voluntary interruption of pregnancy”.
Abortion is unpopular in Chile
Chile currently has strong legal protections for babies in the womb.
According to Newsweek, polling by the South American market research firm Cadem last year found that, while support for a proposed law that would remove legal protections for babies in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy was growing, only 46 percent supported the law. In contrast, 52 percent were against the proposal.
Only four countries in South America allow abortion, including Argentina and Columbia.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “The Chilean people have made their concerns clear. They want to ensure protections for the unborn child. Chile did not join Ireland in introducing abortion through popular vote”.