After 30 years, some abortions will be legal in Chile after a historic court ruling.

On August 21, Chile’s congress voted in favor of legalizing abortion under limited circumstances.

Chile allows legal abortion after 30 years
photo: Reuters

The country had outlawed abortion in all cases. Now, women will be allowed to get an abortion if the pregnancy is the result of rape, when the mother's life is in danger, and when the fetus is unviable. 

"Today I am proud to say we have fulfilled a fundamental commitment of our government with the women in our country."

President and former chief of UN Women Michelle Bachelet said,

"It has been a long battle, fought with the weapons of democracy and dialogue, overcoming barriers and prejudice that in the past impeded hundreds of women from alleviating their suffering."

According to NPR, Bachelet has made easing the total ban on abortions a priority throughout her political career. 

The ban on abortions was put into effect in 1989 under dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Although it was forbidden by law, BBC reports that an estimated 70,000 illegal abortions take place in Chile every year — and they're often done with pills found on the black market.

Chile wasn't the only country that banned abortion under any and all circumstances, either.

Chile allows legal abortion after 30 years
photo: Getty

The New York Times states that El Salvador, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic forbid access to abortions, no matter what the case may be. Jezebel reports that it is also illegal in Malta and the Vatican.

Executive director of Amnesty International Chile Ana Piquer said, "What this decision definitively does is take Chile once and for all off the embarrassing list of countries that still criminalize abortion without exception."

Although this marks a win for Chilean women, it hasn't been an easy battle.

Chile allows legal abortion after 30 years
photo: Reuters

Bills to relax the strict abortion law had been introduced as early as 1991, but were ignored or declined.

Even the recent bill was fought by conservative legislators who filed two requests for review, declaring that the law would violate "protection of the unborn," the New York Times reports

While there's more to be done, demonstrators are taking a moment to celebrate this milestone.

Chile allows legal abortion after 30 years
photo: Reuters

"Chile has finally moved one step closer to protecting the human rights of women and girls," said the Americas director at Amnesty International, Erika Guevara-Rosas. 

She added, "The real test now is to ensure the law is actually enforced, that women and girls are fully able to access the comprehensive health services they need and that this reform opens the door for them to be able to fully enjoy their sexual and reproductive rights."