Abortion in Latin America

Catholic politicians cannot support abortion, say Chilean bishops

.- A politician who claims to be Catholic, whether of the left or of the right, cannot support abortion, warned Archbishop Alejandro Goic, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile, after the Chilean parliament took up a measure last Friday that would legalize “therapeutic” abortion under any circumstances.

On Thursday of last week, the president of the Chilean House of Representatives, Antonio Leal, sent a bill to reestablish therapeutic abortion to the floor put forth by lawmakers from the ruling party, although Representative Francisco Chahuan of Parliamentarians for Life said the bill could be declared unconstitutional for constituting an attack on human life.

In an interview with the Chilean paper “La Segunda,” Archbishop Goic warned, “Obviously we are going to speak very clearly about this issue,” and he noted that if the bill is put to a vote, “a Catholic lawmaker, whether of the right or the left, cannot support a law allowing abortion, because that would be schizophrenia.”

“With all of the advances in medicine, no one in the world talks today about therapeutic abortion,” the archbishop stressed.  “Some people here who think there are no advances are actually behind the times.  Why can’t they be sincere and tell us that what they want is abortion and that this is merely the first step?” he asked.

Archbishop Goic also mentioned the right of the Church to speak the truth regarding public matters, such as during the recent debate about the morning-after pill, in which the bishops collided with the government.

“I will die trying to say what I have to say and do what I have to do, whether or not the government likes it.  A pastor’s job is not to please the government.  Saying what he said and doing what he did led Jesus to the cross - they killed him.  They are not going to kill us physically.  But before we were called Communists, now retrogrades, and conservatives, for defending the same principle; the right to life,” Archbishop Goic explained.

“There are some who want to reduce the Church to the private sphere, without any incidence into daily life.  And that is serious.  The Church has the right to give her opinion about the great issues facing society,” he said in conclusion.


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