Sunday, 7 July 2013


It is the kind of story that used to appear on US daytime talk shows in the 1990s. An 11 year old girl is pregnant as a result of being abused by her stepfather. Her mother defends the stepfather, saying that the girl encouraged the rape and that it was consensual. The only thing that's missing is Ricky Lake and flying chairs.

But even though the lives of the girl, Belen, and the baby are at risk, no abortion is possible because a law imposed by Pinochet in 1989 (not 1973, as this New York Times article suggests) prohibits any kind of termination. 

So now there is a debate in Chile, which will last maybe 10 days. Then we'll forget about it and things will remain the same. Hopefully, Bachelet's high levels of popular support provide some political cover to do something about these outdated laws once she's elected at the end of the year.

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