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Santiago – “The value of life and the dignity of the human person are an essential and inalienable foundation of life in society” underline the Chilean Bishops after the approval of the bill by the Chamber of Deputies that decriminalizes the abortion up to the 14th week of gestation.
In the note released by the Standing Committee of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference the day after the approval, the Bishops “deeply regret this decision and reaffirm, before public opinion, the essential values that are at stake on this issue”. Quoting Pope Francis, they recall that “the defense of unborn life is intimately linked to the defense of all human rights” , therefore “the first of human rights is the right to life, which must be respected from conception to natural death”.
On the theme of the beginning of life at the moment of conception, the Bishops had already expressed themselves in 2015, and on this occasion they reiterated that “unconditional respect for human life is what should guide every ethical, legislative, human and health consideration before the reality of an unwanted pregnancy”. Certainly, they acknowledge, sometimes complex and sometimes dramatic human situations happen that lead to pregnancy, however they are certainly not resolved “with the deliberate elimination of a defenseless and innocent human being”. Society is called to take care of the weakest, who must always be treated in virtue of their dignity, and certainly not to find solutions to problems with violence.
The Chilean Bishops then recall that the laws in favor of abortion are initially considered an exception, only in particular cases, but “experience tells us that we end up affirming ‘the right to abortion’ and the primacy of sexual and reproductive rights of the woman, completely ignoring the existence and rights of the other human being “and we arrive at the creation of “a mentality contrary to the life of the unborn, as if the child were a thing or an enemy, and not a human being, a wonderful gift from God”.
In the conclusion, the Bishops remind Catholics that “the immorality of abortion is one of the constant teachings of the Church”, and they quote Pope John Paul II, who defined abortion “a serious moral disorder, the deliberate elimination of an innocent human being” .
Finally, they invoke the Lord to enlighten “the conscience and heart of those who must make decisions in favor of the common good, so that he always defends the weakest”.