Abortion in Chile – and a related question

This is a hard topic. Please bear with me.

Let me first quote Chile’s president Bachelet.

“Facts have shown that the absolute criminalization of abortion has not stopped the practice,” she said. “This is a difficult situation and we must face it as a mature country.”

I find the abortion debate morally difficult. I can defend various points of view with more or less equal uneasiness. It seems clear that reckless abortion is a bad thing. It seems clear that there are at least some desperate situations that make abortion the ‘choice between evils’ that a mother might sensibly make.

This post is not really about abortion. It’s about US interference in a foreign country.

If you click on the link above, you’ll find these words:

The absolute prohibition on abortion was introduced in 1989, in one of the last acts of Gen Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year-long military rule.

Pinochet was put in charge of Chile by an American-aided coup to prevent Allende being sworn in. This was arranged partly by Henry Kissinger under the direction of American president Nixon. All this is documented in Chomsky. It’s also in the book, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, which you can find out about here. Chile is mentioned in the synopsis of Hitchens’ book, which apparently became a movie as well.

This puts Bachelet’s move in a different historical perspective, eh? I read her actions as stating these as fact:

  • anti-abortion laws don’t really work, and may actually increase health risk
  • younger girls may need a bit more time to realize a pregnancy
  • the anti-abortion laws we already have are the result of an oppressive dictator’s rule.

So, once again, Bachelet comes across as a patriot leading her country as well as she can.

Will there be condemnation from the US press and diplomats? That’s the dumb question you might have been looking for, eh?


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