Chile lawmakers lift abortion ban

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Santiago, March 18 (IANS) Chile’s lower house of Congress has approved a proposal that lifts a ban on abortion in cases of rape, when there is health risk for the mother, or when the foetus is not viable, the media reported on Friday.

The proposal was approved on Thursday by 66 to 44 votes, BBC reported. Although it needs Senate approval to become law.

The government, which tabled the bill 14 months ago, managed to get the support of some members of the conservative Christian Democrats.

Chile is one of seven Latin American countries where there is still a total ban on abortion. It allowed abortion until 1989.

The others are El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Suriname.

Only Cuba, Guyana, Puerto Rico and Uruguay allow abortions in cases other than rape, incest or threats to a woman’s health.

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In 2012, Uruguay’s congress voted narrowly to legalise abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In Mexico, only Mexico City has legalised abortion, during the first 12 weeks.

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