March 1, 2011 ( – The government of Chile has received the International Protect Life Award for its strong pro-life policies, which are accompanied by the lowest maternal mortality rate in Latin America.

The International Protect Life Committee, which represents 30 non-governmental organizations associated with the United Nations, congratulated President Sebastián Piñera and “all of the people of Chile” for “Chile’s outstanding achievements in several areas relating to women’s health and respect for life.”

The committee highlighted the “Chile Grows with You” program, which is “meant to advocate for the well-being and protection of young children, and to assist parents in their responsibilities to nurture their children. We wish to congratulate Chile for the important emphasis this program has given since its beginning to promote awareness that the unborn child is a member of the family, and in need of care and protection.”

As LifeSiteNews reported in December of last year, the Chile Grows with You program encourages Chileans to respect the unborn with commercials showing a baby inside his mother’s womb, responding to events outside.

“My child hears and experiences the world just as I do. We’re connected!” a mother says in a voice-over in one of the commercials, and an announcer says, “An invitation from the government to protect children.”

Although pro-abortion groups often claim that legal abortion is necessary to protect women from the dangers of childbirth, the International Protect Life Committee points out that “Chile has attained the lowest maternal mortality rate in all of Latin America! More Chilean women have safely delivered their babies than ever before! This is a great advancement in the area of women’s health, and an example for other countries working to achieve the reduction of maternal mortality, a key element of the UN Millennium Development Goals.”

“Improving women’s health and respecting human life are key elements for all countries who wish to achieve real development,” remarked Julia Cardenal, one of the signers of the letter to President Piñera.

All abortion is illegal in Chile, although in recent years the government of Michelle Bachelet has acted to make the abortifacient “morning after pill” available to women. Oral contraceptives that can also cause abortions are available in Chile as well.