.- The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, has signed an order authorizing the free distribution of the morning after pill in public health centers, making it available even to 14 year-olds without parental consent.
Paulina Veloso, a top administration official, told reporters the decree was signed by Bachelet, despite the strong opposition of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile, pro-life groups, and pro-life lawmakers.
Bachelet’s order came after Chile’s high court prohibited the pill from being distributed free-of-charge by the Ministry of Health, saying it did not have the authority to regulate the distribution.
In response to the court’s ruling, Ricardo Lagos Weber, another top official in the Bachelet administration, announced that in January the president would sign an order authorizing the same proposal originally put forth by the Ministry of Health in order to re-instate the distribution of the abortion pill.
Recently the Chilean bishops denounced the government’s tactics as reminiscent of “totalitarian regimes” that use the power of the State to control the private lives of people and that are “at odds with respect for the dignity of the human person.”