Parents urge Chilean president to veto bill that would undermine parental authority

By Giselle Vargas for CNA


Santiago, Chile, Jul 1, 2021 / 23:01 pm (CNA).

Pro-family organizations in Chile are urging President Sebastián Piñera to veto completely the recently passed “System of Guarantees of Children’s Rights” bill.

“Today the children of Chile are more defenseless than ever, thanks to the irresponsibility of parliamentarians who, knowing the content of the bill, gave it their approval. Mr. President, I ask that for the love of the children of Chile and without delay, veto this law,” says a video from the pro-family CUIDE Chile Foundation.

Pamela Pizarro, executive director of CUIDE Chile, explained to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner, that they are asking for a complete veto of the bill, or at least the most controversial articles.

The bill undermines “the relationship between parents and children, leaving the state as the first protector and guarantor of children, above the parents,” Pizarro told ACI Prensa.

“It’s the last chance we have to dismantle this bill.” As an overarching regulation, “it involves many changes to our legal system and many contradictions,” she said.

CUIDE Chile is encouraging parents to mobilize on social media and upload photos with the hashtag # vetogarantiasdelaniñez (I veto childhood guarantees).

In addition, the Confamilia Chile organization brought together different families and professionals in a video showing posters with the slogan # VetoGarantiasDeLaNiñez.

A group of 49 representatives and 14 senators advised by the NGO Community and Justice petitioned the Constitutional Court June 29 to declare the bill unconstitutional due to its content.

Speaking with ACI Prensa, the legislative advisor for Community and Justice, attorney Daniela Constantino, explained that the bill eliminates “practically all references to the preferential right and duty of parents to educate their children.”

Constantino explained that the bill eliminates all the stipulations in the law that its interpretation “must be done taking into account the role of parents” as well as “the statutes in the Civil Code involving the duty of children to obey and respect their parents.”

Community and Justice published a document critiquing the provisions in the bill which attack parental rights.

Article 11 talks about progressive autonomy, where “the only limit to the autonomy of children is the law.”

“The principle of the preferential right and duty of parents to educate their children” was eliminated, and the role of parents has been changed to only “be guides in the exercise of their (children’s) autonomy,” Constantino said.

Article 13, which incorporates gender ideology, says that all “public policies, services and programs” directed at children and adolescents must consider the “gender” variable.

Article 30, which speaks about freedom of thought, conscience and religion, once again “excludes the right of parents to educate their children according to their own moral, ethical and religious convictions.”

Article 31, which is on freedom of association and assembly, will allow children and adolescents “to attend or call public demonstrations by themselves, without the authorization of their parents.”

Article 33 establishes that children “have the right to develop their private lives without arbitrary or illegal interference,” while Article 34 establishes the “right to keep communications private, including those produced through information and communication technologies.”

Article 41 “establishes the promotion of a secular and non-sexist comprehensive sexual and affective education,” and the stipulations in the law that ensured the right of parents to educate their children in accordance with their ethical and moral convictions were eliminated.

The Community and Justice document also notes that articles 74 and 76 explain how the Local Office for Children and the family courts can intervene in the event of a disagreement between the parties, and there is a threat to the rights of the child or a violation.

The bill was introduced in the  Chamber of Deputies in September 2015, during the administration of President Michelle Bachelet.

In the third round of the legislative process, the bill was reviewed by the Joint Commission, made up of a group of representatives and senators, who prepared a report to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions

The report was approved by both legislative chambers and was sent to Piñera’s desk June 22.

The president can sign the bill into law, veto it in whole or in part, or can add to it, and has up to 30 days to make his decision.

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