Wry Exchange

Abortion in Chile
02-13-08, 10:39 pm
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 What do Chile, El Salvador, Malta, Nicarauga, and Vatican City have in common?  According to Pregnant Pause,  These are the only countries in the world where abortion is illegal in EVERY case, even to save the mother’s life.  It’s illegal even in case of an ectopic pregnancy.  However, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 pregnancies in Chile are aborted.   Women with money can always find a sympathetic doctor, or go abroad.  The poor women are the ones who get kitchen table abortions.  Botched abortions are a leading cause of death and infertility for women, but it’s written as ‘gynecological problems.’ 
Abortions in Chile are illegal for the woman and the physician.   There are women in prison in Chile for having abortions.  About 250 women a year are prosecuted for having abortions, mostly poor women, and about 50 are convicted.  They and the abortion provider can be sentenced to 3-5 years in prison.  Check out what Wiki has about abortion in Chile.  
From The Alan Guttmacher Institute  (a bit outdated)

  • Estimated rates of abortion are highest in Chile and Peru compared to other countries in Latin America. Each year, almost one woman in every 20 (age 15-49) has an induced abortion.
  • In Chile there are close to six abortions for every 10 births.
  • Of the 451,800 pregnancies in Chile in 1990, an estimated 44% were wanted births, 21% were unwanted births, and the remaining 35% ended in induced abortions. 31,930 women were hospitalized after undergoing unsafe abortions that year.
  • Researchers and health professionals estimate that one in five women who undergo abortions in Chile requires hospitalization for the treatment of complications.
  • 56% of women age 15-44 in Chile practice family planning (1989).
  • A 1993 study in Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru showed that women in those countries are familiar with teas and infusions made from herbs and other vegetable products that are believed to induce abortion.
    The morning after pill is sold over the counter in Chile to woman aged 14 and up.  It would be very helpful if sex education was taught.  Too many South American students don’t even know their own anatomy, let alone the opposite sex’s.  

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    I grew up in Chile and witnessed firsthand the negative effect of the criminalizon of what is actually practiced everyday in the country. Some justify the illegality of abortion by “protecting” the future child, but really, why do they do to help the teenage mother feed her baby, what effective programs are there in place to support someone whose pregnancy is the result of rape or lives in poverty? What about the woman’s right to simply make a decision about her own body. And what about the unfair degree of responsibility a man faces in contrast to a woman when it comes to undesired pregnancies? It is time to support families by first supporting the woman’s right to choose what is best for her. Promoting school education on the subject of sexuality and the consequences of sexual encounters, especially diseases that can result in death, education about responsible parenting for boys and girls, psychological programs as well as adoption agencies, should all work together in order to offer solid support so people actually have a choice when about whether or not to abort.

    Comment by Lina

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