President of Chile Sebastian Pinera,said March 2 that human rights, especially the right to life from conception to natural death, must be protected in order to achieve comprehensive human development.
President Pinera wrote in an article published in L’Osservatore Romano that “Development has always been a central objective of humanity and constitutes a principal goal for nations, governments and the international community.”
“Benedict XVI’s encyclical 'Caritas in veritate' concentrates in depth on the concept and need for comprehensive development as put forth in the Social Doctrine of the Church,” he continued.
The president noted some of the recent challenges has Chile faced. He recalled the Feb. 27, 2010 earthquake and underscored that the “the Church and civil society should actively participate” on the path toward development.
He also reflected on the solidarity that unified the country during the rescue operation to save the 33 miners trapped in the San Jose Mine in Atacama. “Chile came together as one big family, overcoming differences and willing to do whatever necessary to find and rescue the miners.”
“We know that we were able to count on the prayers of the Pope and of millions of men and women of good will around the world, and we continue to count on them today,” he said.
The president said development must take place “in both its material and spiritual dimension,” and that this requires seeking after the common good, defending “the inalienable rights of the human person in every moment, place and circumstance, and supporting a transcendent humanism.”
It is essential, he stressed, “that our democracy protects human rights, especially the right to life from conception to natural death.”
On Feb. 25, Chile received the International Protect Life Award as the country with the lowest maternal mortality rate in Latin America. The honor was a clear indication that abortion, contrary to the claims of its supporters, does nothing to diminish maternal deaths, as abortion is illegal in Chile.
Nearly 30 representatives of pro-life organizations that work before the United Nations presented the award on Feb. 25 during the 2011 meeting of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.
A spokesman for the pro-life leaders, Dan Ziedler spoke with CNA on Feb. 25, saying, “It should be noted abortion is not allowed in Chile under any circumstances. Chile respects the life of both the mother and the child, the two are equal under the law.”
“Chile’s example for other countries at the international level is something we need to emphasize,” he added