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Chilean bishop slams government’s announcement to distribute morning-after pill

.- Responding to an announcement by Chile’s Heath Minister, Maria Soledad Barria, that the government would make the morning-after pill “universally available,” Auxiliary Bishop Cristian Contreras Villarroel of Santiago slammed the announcement saying, “Equality should be sought out for those situations that are good for the human being.”

Last week, Barria said the morning-after pill would be made available for all who request it. He added that this was not new, but part “of the government’s plan.”  “The issue”, he said, “is about improving equal access to an emergency contraceptive, together with counseling, sexual education, etc.” 

“At heart is the scientific discussion about its abortifacient nature,” Bishop Villarroel said in response.  “And since this is about the life of a human person, from the moment of conception, I would like to suppose that we are all sensitive to the right to life and that nobody would use euphemisms like ‘termination of pregnancy’ to refer to abortion, as I suppose nobody would confuse ‘euthanasia’ with ‘avoidance of therapeutic cruelty’.”

He also countered that “the argument about ‘equality’ in this context is questionable because the explanation being given is socio-economic and does not take into account the dignity or the potentiality of the human person.”

“If the issue is equality,” he continued, “and if we mean to show that by pointing out the access a young girl from a rich neighborhood has to the pill versus girls from poorer areas, then I think there are other needs, in matters related to peoples’ health care, that our leaders ought to be addressing.” 

He used for example, “the scandalous discrimination between rich and poor in patients with serious illnesses.  To me this is real issue that needs to be dealt with, along with other situations of true injustice. Equality should be sought out for those situations that are good for the human being,” the bishop said.
 

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