SANTIAGO, Chile, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Three different bills that would have legalized the killing of the unborn were defeated on the same day, following President Sebastian Piñera’s declaration of opposition.

The bill that came closest to passage was that of Senator Camilo Escalona, who sought to create the vague category of “therapeutic abortion”—abortion for supposed medical reasons, which in his legislation would have to be certified by two doctors. The bill was defeated in a 15-18 vote.

Camilo Escalona claimed that his bill would merely codify existing medical protocols that could allow abortions to take place if the life of the mother is in danger. However, he openly attacked President Piñera’s pro-life position, which allows exceptions for medical procedures to save the mother’s life.

Senator Alberto Espina, who opposed the measure, observed that “our legislation establishes its protection in the case of the unborn, and this right begins at the moment of conception,” adding that “in any condition, unborn children are not our own: they are human beings with rights that must be protected.”

Two other bills, one that would allow abortions when the life of the mother was in danger, or inviability of the fetus, and another that added the category of rape, failed 12 to 19, and 9 to 22.

The vote took place after several delays, following a public declaration of President Sebastián Piñera in favor of the right to life and opposing measures to legalize the killing of the unborn.

Piñera stated in the declaration, which was published on his website, that “this is not a decision that belongs only to the mother or the parents of the unborn child. A new, unique, unrepeatable person, distinct from its parents is also involved, whose life must be defended with greater force, precisely because of its state of complete innocence and defenselessness.”

“Some argue that Chile will be a less modern and civilized country if it doesn’t imitate what other supposedly better developed nations have done, where abortion is not only legal but widely accepted. But they are wrong,” wrote Piñera, who added that “precisely the way that a society treats its weakest members-senior citizens, the sick, the most poor, those who suffer some sort of handicap, and unborn children-says much about the level of its civilization than its material wealth, the height of its buildings, the quality of its infrastructure, or its military might.”

Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

* My commitment to life - by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera
* President of Chile calls for the ‘defense of life’ as abortion legislation advances
* Pro-life, no exceptions: Chilean president pens powerful column defending pro-life convictions
* Chilean president promises to veto ‘therapeutic abortion’ bills
* Pro-life groups present president of Chile with award in nationally publicized event