Chilean youth demand that government halt distribution of morning-after pill

.- Some three thousand students gathered in downtown Santiago last week to demand the government of Chile halt the distribution of the morning-after pill, free of charge, to teens aged 14-18 and without the consent of their parents.

The students attending the protest, which was organized by “Youth For Life,” represented more than 30 different educational institutions.

“The idea is to meet with other young people who think differently but who share the value of the right to life,” said the group’s spokesman, Sebastian Otero.

The president of the National Institute Student Center, Julio Isamit, said, “Young people have gained the right to express their opinion, since society is misinformed and does not know that the morning-after pill is really abortifacient.  Let’s be sincere, there is no study that confirms it, but because there is doubt about it, the best thing is to wait.”

The young people were supported by their parents and by local officials, such as the mayor of Puente Alto, Manuel Jose Ossandon.

“The problem of teen pregnancy is not going to be solved by the distribution of the pill.  In addition, it is a lie that young people with little resources have no access to the pill, since at our clinics people have access to all medicines except those that are abortifacient,” Ossandon said.

The mayor of Lo Barnechea, Marta Ehlers, said, “It’s good that young people have an opinion and that they express their disagreements with the government.”

After the protest, the leadership of “Youth For Life” presented their requests to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.  A court of appeals in the country has put a temporary hold on the distribution of the pill.

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