Chile’s parliament has narrowly rejected a bill to decriminalize abortions up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
In a ruling on Tuesday Nov. 30, lawmakers voted 65-62 against the bill, which would have eliminated a potential five-year prison sentence for women who have an abortion or doctors who perform the procedure, according to AP.
Since 2017, abortion is only allowed in Chile in cases of rape, fetal abnormalities and when the woman’s life is at risk, and women must still secure approval from two specialist doctors in order to get an abortion, according to Amnesty International.
Lawmakers in the lower house of congress had voted in favor of studying and debating the bill, but it was rejected on Tuesday over disputed wording.
As a result, the bill cannot be brought forward in the house until a year has passed, according to AFP.
It also has to be approved by the upper house of the Senate.
Lawmakers promoting the abortion bill said that the rejection would push women towards more risky illegal abortions.
“We will present it again and again, we will lose as many times as necessary to win a free, legal and free abortion for all women,” one MP said, according to AFP. “I don’t know when we will introduce it, but I promise we will do it as often as necessary.”
About 60,000 to 70,000 clandestine abortions occur each year in Chile, AP reported, citing women’s rights group the Humanas Corporation.
Lawmakers also delayed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage that had already been approved, sending it back over differences in legal interpretation.
The bill would also have allowed same-sex couples to adopt children.
Lawmakers will now have to iron out the specifics before it can be presented to the Senate.