CHILE – President Gabriel Boric lays out plans to legalize abortion and euthanasia

Chile President Gabriel Boric said he will introduce a bill to fully legalize abortion and will also accelerate debate on a euthanasia proposal, two plans that face an uphill battle for approval in a divided Congress. Women in Chile can currently terminate a pregnancy only in cases of rape, when the woman’s life is in danger or if the fetus won’t survive outside the womb.

The government will submit legislation on abortion in the second half of this year, Boric said in his annual State of the Nation address, given Saturday in the Chilean Congress.

“As president, I am convinced of the need for a democratic debate on the topic of sexual and reproductive rights,” Boric said, prompting a burst of cheers while, at the same time, some lawmakers left the session in protest. “Chilean women deserve their right to decide,” Boric said in the nationally-televised address, quipping that he wasn’t surprised to see male lawmakers leave the room when he made the announcement.

SOURCE: Bloomberg News, by Matthew Malinowski, 1 June 2024