By limiting access to emergency contraception. And they’ve got the Constitutional court on their side this time. Women’s eNews has more background; Radio Cooperativa broke the story; and there’s a Spanish-language article here.
I’m a little confused about the details of all of this. English-language reports are saying that the decision was only about free emergency contraception, but some Spanish-language sources (and the person who sent me the link) say that the ban is on medicines that contain Levonorgestrel, which is in a lot of birth control pills — effectively illegalizing the birth control method of choice used by about a third of Chilean women — as well as on Postinor-2, an emergency contraceptive.
Abortion is also illegal in Chile under all circumstances — even to save the pregnant woman’s life.
Pro-choice activists in Chile made significant strides in the 1960s, because so many Chilean women were dying of illegal abortions. They introduced family planning tools, which were widely accepted in the mid-60s — and deaths from illegal abortion declined from 118 to 24 per 100,000 live births between 1964 and 1979. But even with that victory, abortion complications still account for about 40 percent of all maternal deaths.
Chile has a feminist-minded president and a thriving reproductive health activist base. But this is a huge step back, and a major disservice to Chilean women.
Thanks to Catrala for the link.
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