A court in Chile has ruled that a law legalising abortion in certain cases is constitutional.
It means women will be able to seek an abortion when their life is in danger, when a fetus is unviable or when a pregnancy results from rape.
The ruling ends three years of heated debate from opponents and was greeted with applause and chants from supporters of the bill.
Gloria Maira, Pro-abortion protester was jubilant:
“This is a historic milestone, this is a reflection of the struggle of feminists, women and human rights organisations for decades. We were strong in the legislative debate, we were convincing in front of the constitutional court and the constitutionality of the three grounds has been recognised.”
Chile was only one of a handful of countries worldwide where abortion was illegal without exception. The ban was imposed during the closing days of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in 1990. Since then conservative legislators and pro-life groups have blocked any move to relax it.
Roxana Landaluce said, “ Today is a black day in this country, they’ve just legalised genocide.”
The ruling represents a win for President Michelle Bachelet’s who Tweeted that it was an historic day for the women in Chile.
Bachelet first signed the draft bill in 2015 but it was only passed earlier this month prompting opponents to question its constitutionality.
Chile’s Constitutional Court has now rejected that challenge meaning the bill now becomes law.