The Committee on the Family of the Peruvian Bishops Conference has published an energetic statement denouncing determination of the Minister of Health, Pilar Mazzetti, to include morning after pills in family planning programs, despite their possibly abortifacient nature.
The bishops expressed their “bewilderment at and energetic protest of” Mazzetti’s attitude, pointing out that up to now she has not “made known in a public and transparent fashion the scientific studies on which she is basing her decisions regarding the health and consciences of millions of Peruvians, and what is even more striking, regarding the possible death by abortion of thousands of children called to life.”
Likewise, the bishops recalled that “up to now the Minister of Health has mentioned only one study done on seven women,” and that she has the moral obligation to reference multiple and serious studies that prove that the morning after pill is not abortifacient, rather than requiring third parties to prove that it is. “Are not those who desire to distribute a drug responsible for proving that the drug poses no danger?” they questioned.
The bishops also underscore that if human lives are at stake, the mere probability of affecting them in their earliest stages carries the moral obligation to prohibit any action that might constitute an attack on them. “We find it inexplicable that the Minister of Health continues to ignore the opinions of organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration and the information provided by the drug’s own manufacturers.”
“The FDA and the manufacturers have stated that the pill can prevent implantation” and that “this makes the pill abortifacient, a method of eliminating human lives.”
The bishops also condemned “the malicious manipulation of language, employed by international and national lobbyists that support the distribution of these population control methods in the Third World.”
”These lobbyists seek to confuse Peruvians and make us think that conception means implantation. During recent days we have heard their spokesmen tell us that conception is not when the egg is fertilized by the sperm, but rather when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus,” they said.
The bishops warned that “it is obvious that this strategy seeks to roll back the protection of the unborn and deny them their rights. At the same time, however, this distortion also seeks to alter the concept of ‘abortion’, because it would no longer mean the elimination of a new living being from the moment of fertilization, but rather from the moment of implantation in the uterus.”
“Thus they are watering down a profound truth: that human life begins at conception, that is, at the point of fertilization of the egg by the sperm. This human embryo, from the very moment of fertilization, is a new being with its own genetic code different from that of his or her parents,” said the bishops.
They called on “authorities, honest politicians, pro-life doctors, judges and all people of good will who hear our call, to search out—with human, social and Christian responsibility—the means to assure that the conscience and the lives of Peruvians are respected, and that the Constitution of Peru is obeyed.”