Leading Chilean newspaper slams decision to force pharmacies to sell abortion pill


The Chilean daily “El Mercurio” has published a stinging editorial criticizing the government of Michelle Bachellet for forcing pharmacies to sell the morning after pill.

The State has used its authority to trample the consciences of respectable members of the pharmaceutical industry, the editorial states, “who sought to exercise such as a basic right as that of fulfilling their task of service adhering to their moral principles.”

The force with which the government has imposed its will, showing contempt for valid objections such as these, as well as those of the Church hierarchy and its flock—since the Catholic religion is practiced by the majority in this country—and those of a substantial portion of the Congress and of the public, casts doubt on the government’s assurances that in our country tolerance and pluralism are respected.”  The editorial called government’s order to sell the drug “a trick to persuade pharmacy owners who see the sale of the pill as contrary to the dictates of their conscience.”

The Chilean daily stressed that the government’s actions are made worse by the fact that the abortion pill “is not even medicine, since its purpose is not to ‘prevent, cure or alleviate an illness,’ according to the legal definition of the term.  Its purpose is to avoid or alter (although this is even disputed by some) a normal state of health, as is the case with pregnancy.”

The article pointed to the ongoing controversy surrounding the use of the pill is a sign of “the profound differences of opinions and moral points of view regarding this issue in Chilean society.  This fact should have led the government to refrain from ignoring the valid conscientious objections of respectable businessmen and imposing something that is inconsistent with the serious and responsible use of legal power,” the article stated.

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