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Chileans overwhelmingly reject new constitution introducing abortion

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”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.