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A woman casts her vote in the ballot box during the referendum on the new constitution, September 4, 2022, in Santiago, ChilePhoto by Jonnathan Oyarzun/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – In a massive victory for pro-lifers in Chile, 62 percent of voters rejected a proposed pro-abortion constitution backed by the country’s young leftist leader, 36-year-old President Gabriel Boric, a former student protest leader. The new constitution, drafted by a constituent assembly, was intended to replace the 41-year-old existing constitution implemented by dictator General Augusto Pinochet and drafted by his supporters.

The 388 articles of the proposed constitution would have locked many progressive agenda items into law, from enforced gender parity in government to universal healthcare – but the most controversial was the legalization of abortion as a fundamental women’s right.

The abortion wars have been raging across Latin and South America for years now, with abortion being legalized in Colombia, provinces of Mexico, and in Argentina by a razor-thin margin, while pro-life politicians and activists have successfully defended pre-born human rights in Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Brazil, and elsewhere.

Two dueling mass movements have sprung up, with the green movement fighting for abortion rights and the blue movement defending the right to life of pre-born children. The abortion movement is backed by Western governments, NGOs, and international organizations. The pro-life movement is fuelled by the support of millions of ordinary men, women, and children who have flocked to staggeringly large marches and protests.

Thus, the inclusion of abortion “rights” by the constituent assembly on March 16 was extremely controversial and attracted the bloodthirsty gaze of the international elites, who hoped for the opportunity to bring abortion to another South American country.

A large march by abortion activists in Santiago fueled hopes that this might be successful. Prior to 2017, abortion was totally illegal in Chile; at that point, exceptions to the ban were implemented if the mother’s life was at risk, for babies who would not have survived the pregnancy (in a doctor’s estimations), or during the first 12 weeks if the child was conceived through sexual assault.

Attempts to liberalize these laws further have failed, most recently in the Chilean Congress in November 2021.

We do not yet have solid data on why Chileans voted so overwhelmingly to reject the sweeping new constitution, but the inclusion of abortion is certainly one reason. The research firm Cadem found last year that only 46 percent of Chileans supported a law that would legalize abortion prior to fourteen weeks, with 52 percent opposing the law. Chileans do support the creation of a new constitution but sent a clear message to the leftist government that they are not happy with what they were offered.

The New York Times has reported that President Gabriel Boric has now recommended that a new constituent assembly be elected to propose a new constitution.

Abortion activists are unlikely to give up, and with support for legal abortion being highest among those below the age of thirty, they will push for abortion-supporting language in any new document, as well.

Left-leaning media outlets reported the news with palpable disappointment, and abortion activists mourned the failure as a big step backwards. In Argentina and elsewhere, however, abortion activists have responded to major losses by regrouping and changing tactics. Congressional legislation has failed; inserting abortion into a proposed constitution has failed; but with international support and international money, abortion activists will have other tricks up their sleeve.

For the time being, conservative politicians are declaring victory and Boric called a meeting with party leaders at the presidential palace to discuss next steps. He has promised that the next draft should be a proposal that “unites the country.”

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.