Right to life not debatable, say Chilean bishops in response to new health law

.- In a statement entitled “Welcoming and Promoting Life,” the executive committee of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile is denouncing the moral bankruptcy of the new norms on the regulation of fertility created by the Ministry of Health.

The Chilean bishops had already noted their objection to the government’s new anti-life policy, but the new document is based on a multi-disciplinary study, which the bishops entrusted to a broad group of scholars of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

The bishops emphasize that the gift of life is sacred and that respect for life is not debatable, because debate cannot be a pretext for inducing and justifying attacks against the foundations of society.

While they say they understand “the concern of the government about confronting the social reality of teen pregnancy,” the bishops do not agree with proposals to address the issue because they do not promote comprehensive development of the human person based on unchanging values.  They note that some of the proposed norms constitute an “attack on such fundamental social goods as the freedom of parents to educate their children.”  The “ethical relativism” and “anthropological vision” of these norms “jeopardize respect for life and the dignity of the person,” the bishops state.

They also emphasize that the new norms show that the State is failing to fulfill its duties towards individuals and the family, and the bishops said they are unconstitutional because they violate three fundamental guarantees: the right to life, the right to privacy and the right of parents to educate their children.”

The bishops also denounce the pejorative allusions that some statements in the norms contain regarding the responses “certain religions” might have to these issues, and they point out that such allusions could be an “expression of certain ideological positions that claim that all references to God must be reduced to the private sphere or to individual consciences.”

In the document the bishops express their hope that Chile does not follow the path of other nations, where “democracy, despite its rules, is on the path to fundamental totalitarianism.  The State becomes a tyrannical State that presumes to have the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenseless, from the unborn child to the elderly,” they state.

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