- Title: Protesters march in Chile after bid to ease abortion ban stumbles
- Date: 26th July 2017
- Summary: PROTESTERS MARCHING DURING THE NIGHT AND HOLDING BURNING STICKS UP IN THE AIR PROTESTERS CARRYING BURNING STICKS GENERAL VIEW OF PROTESTERS MARCHING
- Embargoed: 9th August 2017 02:16
- Keywords: abortion legalise Chile law protest
- Location: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- City: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- Country: Chile
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0036R7VDC3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS NUDITY
Hundreds of protesters marched on Santiago on Tuesday (July 25) to demand abortion be legalised in the South American country, just days after Chile's Chamber of Deputies fell one vote short of passing a bill which would have eased the country's strict abortion law.
The Senate narrowly had passed a bill that would legalise abortion when a woman's life is in danger, when a foetus is unviable or when a pregnancy results from rape. But the motion failed to get up in the lower chamber after conservative lawmakers in Bachelet's centre-left coalition abstained. Other lawmakers were on vacation, leaving the government one vote short of the 67 needed for passage.
But protesters in Santiago want the bill to go further and for abortion to be accessible to all women, without having to provide a moral reason for undergoing the procedure.
Chile is one of only a handful of countries where abortion is illegal without exception. The ban was put in place during the closing days of Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 dictatorship. Bachelet pledged reform when she took office for a second time in 2014.
Although Chile is one of Latin America's more socially conservative countries and the Roman Catholic Church retains significant influence, opinion polls show about 70 percent of Chileans favour easing the abortion ban. The bill will now go through a messy reconciliation process that could take weeks. Abortion rights advocates fear the final version may pass after a change in the composition of Chile's Constitutional Court scheduled for late August, which is expected to make it more conservative.
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