As a former WMNST student and full-time feminist, I know that Sexual Assault Can Happen To Anyone. So, I decided to check out and see if I could get Plan B in Chile, if needed. Here is the disturbing tidbit that I found on Wikipedia:
Postinor-2 (a progestin-only emergency contraceptive) became legal in Chile in 2002 after a Supreme Court battle. Affluent Chileans were able to purchase it on demand from private health services, but poorer Chileans served by the national health service were only given emergency contraception if they were sexual assault victims. In 2006, access to emergency contraception was briefly allowed for all females 14 and over, but this was immediately blocked by a court decision. Months later an Appeals Court upheld a lower court decision to allow the Ministry of Health to distribute emergency contraceptives to minors withouncy t parental consent. In April, 2008, Chile’s Constitutional Court ruled free distribution of emergency contraceptives illegal. Constitutional Court rulings cannot be appealed.
WHAT THE WHAT? Is this real life? So then I did a Google search on abortion in Chile. Here’s Wikipedia again:
Abortion in Chile is illegal without exception. The Chilean abortion law is considered one of the most restrictive in the world.
AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! <=== That is the scream of a woman enraged. Why was I so ignorant about this before? It was so easy for me to run down to the grocery storm on a Tuesday morning and pop down 55 bucks* for a just-in-case pill. It’s irritating to buy something that I don’t need but it wouldn’t be easy if I desperately needed it in Chile.
*covered by insurance only with a prescription. Why would I need a prescription for a pill that doesn’t need a prescription? Argh.
Want to know more? Scratch that, I WANT you to know more.
Here’s a NYT story about a group of women running a safe-abortion-information hotline: Taking Calls on Abortion, and Risks, in Chile
Here’s a first-person account of a volunteer: The Chilean Safe Abortion Hotline: Assisting Women With Illegal, But Safe, Misoprostol Abortion