By Vicente Hargous 1A

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For at least a decade, Latin America has suffered an avalanche of progressive attacks against life, family, and religion. Internally, blocs of parties have emerged in each country that we can broadly label as the “new left,” which—joining with other leftists—increasingly attain more power. At the regional level, it is clear that there is pressure from international organizations and, above all, from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which shamelessly promotes an ideological agenda without leaving the slightest space for political deliberation about abortion in each nation.

Chile used to be a country where the neoliberal model seemed to converge with the advance (slow but no less real) of progressivism. But in October 2019, there was a 180-degree turn in which society seemed to ask for radical changes. This was the origin of a drafting process for a new Fundamental Charter, which was proposed for the first time in Chilean history that ruptured not only the economic model but also the previous republican tradition, history, culture, and morals. In addition, leftist blocs wanted to ensure seats reserved for indigenous peoples and have “parity” in the elections of the members of the Constitutional Convention. The result was that a majority of the members were extreme leftists.

This entire Chilean leftist movement results from ideas raised by the Sao Paulo Forum1, which adheres to the theories of contemporary thinkers Laclau and Mouffe.

As Agustín Laje and Nicolás Marquez put it in their book, “The Black Book of the New Left”:

. . . The strategy that these authors propose for socialism . . . has its axis in understanding democracy as the ground on which the socialist project can and must unfold, taking advantage of and promoting the diversity of antagonistic points under which it is possible to make socialism emerge. It addresses liberal democracy and radicalizes its egalitarian component to such an extent that democracy ends up being decimated from within, lets it be swept away by its own logic, destroying democracy from within and not from without.2

This strategic plan, also agreed upon in the Sao Paulo Forum, is the one that has decisively influenced Chilean history in recent years, fostering the union of minorities with the anti-hegemonic discourse with the aim of proposing a constitutional reform never seen before.

These criteria were maintained throughout the constitutional debate, which began almost a year ago: from the opening speeches, through the drafting of the general regulations of the Convention, to the draft of the eventual new Fundamental Charter3, dispatched last May 14, and the standards definitively approved in the final document4. In each of these steps you can see―with the perpetual use of adjectives―the same fundamental social demands: environmentalism, radical feminism, indigenism, and similar ideologies. Everything is about parity, democracy, inclusivity, feminism, interculturalism, and plurinationalism. It’s probable that most of these adjectives were eliminated in the reconciliation stage, but of course it’s clear that these distinct propositions could not be eliminated.

Under this logic, abortion was one of the included points. As mentioned, the draft of the new Constitution included in article 16 (20):

All people have sexual and reproductive rights. These include, among others, the right to decide freely, autonomously and informed about one’s own body, the exercise of sexuality, reproduction, pleasure and contraception.

The State guarantees the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights without discrimination, with a focus on gender, inclusivity and cultural awareness, as well as access to information, education, health, and the services and benefits required for it, ensuring these guarantees to all women and persons with the capacity to carry a child, pregnancy conditions, a voluntary interruption of pregnancy [a euphemism for elective abortion], voluntary and protected childbirth, and maternity. Likewise, the State guarantees this exercise free of violence and interference by third parties, individuals, or institutions. (Emphasis added).

The current Chilean Constitution does not include abortion and even establishes in the second paragraph of Article 19 No. 1 (on the right to life) that “the law protects the life of the unborn.” The change is revolutionary: rights will now be granted to animals, and even to “Nature”, but not to the unborn. Not only did the new draft Constitution omit the right to life, it also expressly chose to consecrate a “right” to the “voluntary interruption of pregnancy” with a rhetoric of a strong ideological charge: “voluntary motherhood,” “autonomy,” and the “right to decide.” It is no secret that the expression “sexual and reproductive rights” is a screen often used to legitimize abortion. The alleged right to kill unborn children vanishes by euphemisms. But beyond the euphemisms, it is a hedonistic conception of the human person, totally against medical anthropology. The human person is seen as an omnipotent individual, who can demand everything from everyone, and who can use technology (“the advances of scientific progress,” says the draft of the new Constitution) to do anything, rather than a social being that finds his purpose in the community.

It is not necessary to be pro-life from the moment of conception or assume a balanced anthropology to see how crazy this proposal is. In effect, it is so extreme that, as can be seen, it does not incorporate time limits or grounds for abortion, nor the slightest recognition of the unborn, not even viewing an unborn child as an “object of protection.” After an arduous debate, the Convention approved the following sentence: “the law will regulate the exercise of these rights” (but this sentence was added to calm public opinion, which could not believe what was being approved). However, the reference to the law will not necessarily limit abortion since it is evident that regulating abortion is not synonymous with limiting the practice. It would require that, eventually:

  1. Congress enacts a law after the constitutional mandate, which does not always happen in our region.
  2. That, in that constitutional mandate, Congress limits abortion (which under the present situation, we could not take for granted).
  3. That the established limit is reasonable. However, as discussed, it’s expected that pro-abortion organizations will demand that their so-called sexual and reproductive rights are protected, or else they will challenge the law as unconstitutional.

The draft also added queer newspeak with the expression “people with the capacity to gestate,” which makes women invisible. It not only recognizes the presumed freedom to kill but also grants a benefit financed from the pockets of all Chileans.

But the most striking thing is how the draft Constitution prohibits conscientious objections: this abortion “right” could not suffer “interference by third parties, whether individuals or institutions.” As a result, every health establishment, regardless of its ideology, will be obliged to perform an abortion if a patient requires it.

All attempts to limit abortion were denied. This included: the personhood and dignity of the human being from conception, time limits, grounds for abortion, protection of the unborn, the objective of saving both the mother and child’s lives, and even the word “limit” instead of “regulate” when referring to the law.

We could ask ourselves, why is the proposal so extreme? Was it necessary to go so far? The truth is that yes, it was, for the leftists. If there is rational debate on the humanity and dignity of the unborn child, then parties must negotiate for hegemony and compromise with adversaries. Under this logic, motherhood is not a superstructure of oppression towards women, which would restrict women’s supposed autonomy. The consolidation of a new socialist hegemony requires deconstructing the existing structures. The important thing for these extreme leftist groups is to prevail against the adversary, not to negotiate with him. Sadly, we see that human beings will be sacrificed in pursuit of this ideology.

After the national plebiscite rejected the draft constitutional text on September 4, 2022, 5 there is still hope for those not born in Chile. Of course, even in Chile, it will be difficult for a future proposal not to establish a right to abortion, but at least we can fight to limit the extremist of that future proposal, to put an end to the culture of death, and to prevent the deaths of innocent human lives.

[1A] Lawyer, Research Area, Community and Justice NGO:

Contact email: vicente.hargous@comunidadyjusticia.c / Telephone +56 222076389

[1]  Agustín Laje y Nicolás Marquez “The Black Book of the New Left”, p 30.

[2] Id. at 34.


[4] Draft of the constitution:

[5] Results of exit plebiscite 2022. Chile. Library of the National Congress of Chile: