SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile's Congress narrowly defeated a law to de-penalize elñabortions up to 14 weeks after gestation on Tuesday.
The measure, which lost on a 65-62 vote, would have eliminated a potential five-year prison sentence for women who undergo abortions as well as the doctors who perform them.
At least five members of the center-left coalition that has a lower house majority joined the conservative governing bloc to vote against the measure.
Governing party Congresswoman Catalina del Real called the vote “a great news for life."
Maite Orsini of the left-leaning Broad Front expressed “great frustration,” but added, “We are going to continue to fight.”
She said the measure would be resubmitted at an unspecified future date, but noted that the incoming Congress elected on Nov. 21 will be somewhat more conservative than the current body.
Chile permits interruption of pregnancies only in cases of rape, danger to the mother's life or an inviable fetus.
The Humanas Corporation, a women's rights group, estimates 60,000 to 70,000 clandestine abortions occur yearly in Chile.