(LifeSiteNews) — Conservatives often complain about the “ratchet effect”, namely, that once a new Leftist policy is in place, it proves difficult to roll back. But as the overturning of Roe v. Wade proved, it is not impossible. Just as American pro-lifers succeeded – after a half century of effort and a pro-life president – in ending a national policy of abortion-on-demand, so pro-lifers in the South American country of Chile are on the cusp of their own historic victory.
None of this seemed at all likely in December 2021, when a committed socialist by the name of Gabriel Boric was elected president of Chile. His opponent, José Antonio Kast, leader of the pro-life, pro-freedom Republican Party and a good friend of PRI’s, was soundly defeated. A practicing Catholic with eight children, Kast received 46 percent of the vote to Boric’s 54 percent.
The Chilean people had elected Boric on the promise that he would not return to the radical socialist ways of Salvador Allende, who came close to turning Chile into another Cuba back in the 1970s. But once in power, the socialists moved to cement their hold on power by drafting a new Chilean Constitution.
The constitutional convention that Boric convened was stacked with his supporters. They predictably produced a document that was larded with every left-wing lunatic idea that leftists unmoored from reality come up with when they are foolishly allowed to take power. The text promoted gender ideology and included abortion-on-demand and euthanasia as fundamental rights.
But although the Left had moved quickly, they hadn’t moved quickly enough. By the time the new draft constitution was put to a vote six months later, the Chilean people had come down with a serious case of buyers’ remorse.
They had woken up to the danger that both they – and their unborn children – were in post-election. They saw how the regime was abandoning the rule of law and promoting lawlessness, as the leftists had in 2019 when they firebombed the subway system of the capital city, Santiago. They saw how his increasingly dictatorial regime was dragging down the economy, attacking families, people of faith, and promoting abortion. The situation in Chile came to resemble what is happening in the United States under Joe Biden.
And so, to the shock and dismay of the Left, the people of Chile voted down the draft constitution. The vote was not even close. Only 37 percent of the electorate supported the leftist’s proposed constitution, while 62 percent voted against it.
Leftists do not take rejection well. In January 2023, Boric proposed to convene a second constitutional convention. He scheduled an election for May 7, 2023, to choose the 50 representatives who would draft it.
This time, however, the people were paying attention. Regional pro-life leaders throughout Chile, many of whom have been trained in pro-life strategy by Carlos Polo and Sergio Burga from our office in Lima, Peru, mobilized their supporters in every corner of the country. Kast himself was relentless in urging people to vote for those who would support pro-life, pro-family views at the constitutional convention.
Pro-lifers turned out in droves and the results were spectacular. Of the 50 elected, no fewer than 22 were from Kast’s pro-life Republican Party. The Chile Seguro coalition, a center-right party that is generally pro-life, obtained 11 seats with help behind the scenes from former President Sebastián Piñera.
Boric’s party, the Unity For Chile Alliance, did not fare so well. They won a paltry 16 seats, although they whined about the lack of minority representation until a leftist from the Machaca tribe was given a seat.
With Kast and his allies able to muster 33 votes on key issues, the draft constitution that emerged from this second constitutional convention was the polar opposite of the first.
Among other things, the draft defended life in no uncertain terms. Article 16 of the constitution, passed on September 20, reads: “The Constitution assures to all persons the right to life. The law protects the life of the unborn person.”
So discredited are the leftists now running Chile that the new draft constitution is certain to be approved by the voters at the upcoming November referendum. Once in place, it will be used to overturn an existing Chilean law allowing abortion under some circumstances.
Anticipating defeat, Chile’s leftists are already doing what leftists do best: engaging in a propaganda campaign to confuse and deceive the public. They claim that Article 16 doesn’t change a thing because it doesn’t directly outlaw abortion.
The reality, however, is that it changes everything. If an unborn child is a person, as the new constitution says, and if all persons have a right to life, as it also says, then clearly there is no room for abortion.
As Carlos Polo, the director of PRI’s office for Latin America, notes: “The sea change in Chile’s pro-life prospects is stunning. In less than a year, the country has gone from almost approving the most radical constitution in the Western world to one that, when passed, will respect the values of life, family and freedom.”
“The new Constitution reflects an understanding that communism’s disregard for life, its embrace of abortion, and its destruction of the family generates only chaos, poverty and death,” Polo continued. “Its strong protection of the rights of the most innocent and vulnerable of society – the unborn – is the signal proof that Chileans are intent upon achieving a truly just society and presents the prospect of a true democratic renewal.”
Neighboring Latin American countries have been greatly encouraged by Chile’s impending victory. José Antonio Kast will be visiting Lima in early October to address the Peruvian Congress and, in a meeting arranged by PRI, will meet with young pro-life activists from around that country.
Steven Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Pandemics.