Chile: Abortion Law

 

Abortion is illegal in Chile.

 

Background

Abortion is completely illegal in Chile, there are no exceptions in the law that would allow for a legal abortion.

Abortion in Chile is governed by the Chilean Penal Code (12 November 1874, sections 342-345). Although the Code prohibits all abortions that are performed with malice (maliciosamente). On 15 September 1989, the Government of Chile amended section 119 of the Health Code to provide that “No action may be executed that has as its goal the inducement of abortion” (Law No. 18,826). The justification provided for the new restrictions was that, given the advances in modern medicine, an abortion was no longer needed to save the life of a pregnant woman. Owing to this amendment, it is generally, although not unanimously, believed that no abortions can now be legally performed in Chile.

Under the Penal Code, anyone who performs an abortion with the woman’s consent is subject to the normal length of short-term imprisonment.  If the abortion is performed without the woman’s consent, the penalty is the maximum length of short-term imprisonment. A woman inducing her own abortion or consenting to it is subject to the maximum length of short-term imprisonment.  Harsher penalties are imposed on physicians. 

Codigo Penal Chile (Art. 342-345)