Santiago, Chile, Aug 8, 2015 / 06:03 am
The representatives who voted on Tuesday against a bill legalizing abortion in Chile will file an appeal against the initiative with the Constitutional Court.
The bill was approved by health committee of the lower house of the Chilean legislature, the Chamber of Deputies, in an 8-5 vote.
It still has to go through several steps before it can be signed into law, however. Having passed out of committee, it could be voted down; approved with comments; or approved as written, in which case it would continue to the senate. The bill will still have to be discussed in the health, constitutional, and human rights committees of the Chilean Senate.
Legislators must present their objection or questions regarding the bill by Aug. 28, and they will vote on it Sept. 8. It is expected that it could not become law before April 2016.
One of the five representatives voting against the bill, Gustavo Hasbún, explained to local press that they will be taking the issue to the Constitutional Court because the bill in question "has no medical or legal substance," and to promote abortion in the case of rape is to go after the weakest and demonstrates that the public is being deceived by this bill."
"We're going to appeal to the Constitutional Court because we believe Chile lost today. The country was deceived because it's a bill that legalizes abortion on demand. There's no argument for the three cases (rape, life of the mother, fetal non-viability)," Hasbún said.
Representative Jorge Rathgeb, who also voted against the bill, said that what is important in this debate is "the defense and protection of life of (the baby), who did not choose where and under what circumstances to come into being … I'm also disappointed that the government threw out a proposal that would have assisted women at risk with psychological, spiritual, and other aids so their pregnancy would not end in abortion."
The three other representatives voting pro-life were Nicolás Monckeberg, Marisol Turres, and Javier Macaya.
In an interview with CNN Chile, Turres stated, "it's still not clear why it's necessary to kill that child before it's born." She added, "we're shutting the door to the possibility of life for a healthy child who didn't ask to come into this world."
Monckeberg told Radio Bio Bio that "countries and societies are not for the better when the first solution they come up with for an unwanted pregnancy is the right to abort. I think that far before considering that, the government, particularly in Chile where we have a government that's out of touch, ought to make its aim that there aren't any abortions, and instead come to the aid of women in crisis pregnancies."
In an interview with CNA, the legislative adviser on human rights, Pablo Urquízar, said that "it's the first time in 25 years in our country that they've approved the notion of going to the legislature with this. Every time before, the idea had been rejected."
"This is shameful because we're violating human rights, the most basic one there can be, which is the right to life of the most defenseless, the unborn child. It's really distressing because they're not giving a concrete solution for the mothers who are suffering, that are vulnerable, whose situation may lead them to abort."