The Minister of Health in Chile, Pedro Garcia, is threatening mayors with sanctions if they refuse to distribute the morning after pill in their municipalities.
Garcia was openly uncomfortable with a statement by Cardinal Francisco Errazuriz of Santiago, which called on the faithful to obey God when innocent life is at stake and emphasized the Church’s rejection of “emergency contraception” because of its abortifacient effect.
Garcia told reporters that the statement “could be interpreted as an act of rebellion by the Church. But here there has been a separation between Church and state for a long time.”
In addition, he claimed the “opinion” of the Catholic Church about the drug cannot be “imposed against a technical directive.” Those mayors, he proceeded, who are opposed to the pill will be summarily sanctioned if they refuse follow government directives.
Cardinal Errazuriz expressed his support to reporters for the mayors who, exercising their right to conscientious objection, refuse to distribute the controversial drug. Bishop Tomislav Koljatic of Linares also threw his support behind the mayors. “I know them all and I know their good intentions. They believe that they way to help people is by teaching them about human promotion and the defense of life, and not by attacking life,” he said.