Photo: OHCHR South America

Chile/Decriminalization of abortion: UN Human Rights Office submits report to Constitutional Court

17 de August, 2017

Photo: OHCHR South AmericaSANTIAGO (14 August 2017) – The Regional Office for South America of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) submitted today a report on international human rights standards to the Constitutional Court of Chile. The report was submitted in the context of the analysis by the aforementioned court of a request to declare unconstitutional the draft bill regulating the decriminalization of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy under three circumstances (Boletín N° 9895-11).

In the document, the Regional Office points out a series of international standards applicable to the regulation of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. Such standards are enshrined in binding treaties ratified by Chile, as well as in other instruments of international human right law, such as recommendations by UN treaty bodies and experts.

Against this background, the OHCHR Regional Office’s report recommends the Constitutional Court of Chile to reject the request to declare unconstitutional the referred draft legislation.

“We bring to the attention of the Constitutional Court of Chile a wide range of international human rights standards, so that they can be taken into consideration during the ongoing juridical-constitutional process”, said Mr. Amerigo Incalcaterra, OHCHR representative in South America. “We hope that this report will contribute to the process of harmonizing the Chilean law regulating abortion with the international obligations assumed by the State”, he added.

The OHCHR representative also highlighted that several human rights bodies and experts have urged Chile to revise and modify the legislation that criminalizes the voluntary interruption of pregnancy under all circumstances, as well as to adopt measures to strengthen and protect the sexual and reproductive rights of women.

In addition, Mr. Incalcaterra recalled that in June 2015 –and jointly with the Pan-American Health Organization and the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the OHCHR Regional Office sent a communication to the Commission of Health of the Chile’s House of Representatives, seeking that the parliamentary discussion was based on international human rights standards.


Read here the report submitted by OHCHR to the Constitutional Court of Chile (in Spanish):

Additional information

– Chile: declaración de ACNUDH, OPS/OMS Y UNFPA sobre proyecto de ley de despenalización del aborto en tres causales (25/06/2015):

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