For the last two years, our partner, APROFA, has been working hard to officially register the abortion pill. The pill is actually two medications called Mifepristone and Misoprostol that safely end pregnancy when taken together. Access to it reduces barriers for many women and healthcare professionals, especially because it is non-invasive and can be done at home. The Chilean Government has finally approved APROFA’s application to register the abortion pill.
While abortion is only currently legal in certain circumstances in Chile, this win brings us a step closer in the fight for global reproductive rights.
APROFA will begin distributing the combination pill in early 2020.
No, not for the World Cup, but for the vote today in the lower house of its Congress to decriminalize abortion up to 14 weeks gestation. The vote was 129-125. The bill next goes to the Senate. It will be close. We are ready and actively lobbying.
From the just released report from Guttmacher
Notably, abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is highly restricted and where it is broadly legal: The abortion rate is 37 per 1,000 women in countries where abortion is prohibited or permitted only to save the life of the pregnant woman, and 34 per 1,000 women in countries where abortion is not restricted as to reason. Legal restrictions do not eliminate abortion. Rather, they increase the likelihood that abortions will be done unsafely, as they compel women to seek clandestine procedures. Indeed, abortion tends to be safer in countries where it is broadly legal and in countries with a high gross national income.
Reports out of Bolivia indicate that the government will decriminalize some abortions in that country. The legislature has approved a bill to allow abortions for students, adolescents or girls up to the eighth week of pregnancy. President Morales has said he will sign the bill. There is loud opposition from the Catholic Church that he must face down.
The Health Minister Ariana Campero has pointed out that this bill is a public health matter, that there are over 80,000 clandestine and unsafe abortions annually and that deaths from these abortions is the third leading cause of maternal death.
Until now abortion had been permitted only when the woman’s life is in danger, in cases of rape or incest or fetal malformation.
A further bill is being proposed to decriminalize abortions for reasons of extreme poverty, doesn’t have resources to support a child, has three or more children or is still studying.
These measures are a refreshing adjustment to reality. Women are dying, or becoming infertile, from illegal abortions. The medical establishment must take steps to train more doctors in abortion practice to make sure that legal abortions are accessible and safe and that the woman is treated with dignity.