TRIGGER WARNING This article contains information about abortion and/or violence which may be triggering to some individuals.
Your day should begin like any other. You go out for a morning walk to enjoy the nice weather, pick up the daily newspaper and then make your way to the nearest intersection. Until this point, you should appear as unsuspecting as possible.
“Walk calmly by the traffic light, wait, and when it is about to turn yellow, pick the car most likely to speed up,” says the actress, playing a pregnant woman in a disturbing video going viral in Chile. “Make sure the car hits you head-on—stomach to bumper—and then cross the street,” she finishes, just before lunging herself into oncoming traffic.
This is one of three fictitious “Abortion Tutorial” videos released by the non-governmental organization, MILES Chile, a group hoping to draw attention to the country’s strict anti-abortion laws.
“In Chile an accidental abortion is the only kind of abortion that is not considered a crime,” it reads at the end of each video offering staged tips on how to accidentally terminate a pregnancy. From walking into traffic, falling on top of a fire hydrant, all the way to throwing yourself down a flight of stairs, this pro-abortion campaign was meant to shock and get people talking about reproductive rights.
Chile is one of six countries in the entire world that prohibit all abortion. In other words, women there have no legal right to abort under any circumstances, including rape and medical complications that put her life at risk . In fact, women who are found guilty of terminating their pregnancy can serve up to 5 years in jail.
“Clandestine abortions are carried out in Chile and abortions will continue with or without politicians or a law,” says MILES Chile director Claudia Dides. “What we want is for abortions to be safe.”
The controversial campaign comes just as Chile tries to introduce a reform bill to decriminalize therapeutic abortion. If the bill is passed, it would legalize abortions under certain circumstances, such as: if the fetus is malformed or unlikely to survive in the womb, rape, and if it puts the woman’s life at risk. Senators will vote on the matter is upcoming September, and if passed will be put into effect in 2016.
The bill is currently supported by the country’s first female president, Michelle Bachelet, however it still faces great opposition from ultraconservatives. In the case of the “Abortion Tutorial”, it comes at a time where rallying support for the bill is as crucial as ever.
Without question, the videos are disturbing, graphic and just plain horrific. As extreme as they appear to be, the desperation played in each of them mirror the reality thousands of women have to go through — not only in Chile, but anywhere where women don’t have a right to choose.
As tough as these videos are to watch, they carry a powerful message — one that reminds us how terrifying a world is for a woman to have little to no reproductive rights and the life threatening decisions she is forced to make for herself as a result. It’s a world no woman should have to live in.
WARNING: The video below may be disturbing for some viewers.