Local June 20, 2014 | 4:17 pm

Dominican Republic should ‘follow Chile’s example on abortion’

Santiago, Chile.- After Chile’s commitment to decriminalize abortion when the pregnancy stems from rape, women at risk or an unviable fetus , Amnesty International (AI) asked El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Dominican Republic to "follow the Chilean example," EFE reports.

In a statement released today in Santiago, AI director for America, Erika Guevara praised Chile for its "willingness" to respect and protect the right of women and girls to life and to be free from discrimination.

Chile president Michelle Bachelet announced in May that the Government would reform the abortion law to decriminalize when it’s an unviable fetus, danger to the mother’s life and in cases of rape.

Guevara said she hopes Chile’s decision serve as a "wake-up call" to El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Dominican Republic to advance on "ongoing plans to protect women’s rights."

Chile was one of the five Latin American countries where the ban on abortion is absolute, until it decided to follow the recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council universal periodic review (UPR) process.

"Although today’s proposed reforms refer only to the decriminalization of abortion in three cases, Chile is finally recognizing the need to adjust its legislation to international standards of human rights, which is a positive first step in the right direction," said AI’s representative in America. Abortion had been banned in Chile in 1989, during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship.

Amnesty International launched the "my body, my rights" global campaign last March to protect the individual’s right to make decisions about their health, body, sexuality and reproduction without State control and without fear of coercion or discrimination.

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