Being a Roman Catholic country, Chili has had a ban on abortion since 1989, but January, 2015, the President has lifted the ban under certain circumstances. President Michelle Bachelet is now allowing abortions to happen for the safety of young women. Previously abortions have caused women to be imprisoned for up to five years, but now they will be allowed to have an abortion up to twelve weeks into the pregnancy and for girls under the age of 14, 18 weeks into the pregnancy. In both situations there does have to be a valid reason such as the mother’s life has to be in danger or cases of rape. President Bachelet was recording saying that she understands that the ban has not stopped the practice of abortions and that as a mature country they need to accept this. As many of us know though, the Catholic church is very much against aborting babies in the womb, so who knows what this could cause as an internal conflict among church and state.
It is not uncommon for Latin American counties to have a ban on abortion being that they are mostly Roman Catholic. Today there are still six countries that have a total ban on abortion. These counties include, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, and Suriname with Chili still having a small ban on certain situations. No matter one’s personal stance on abortion, being pro-life or pro-choice, this is a situation that can be interesting to observe the effects on it locally in the country and the countries surrounding Chili.