By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  CHILE, November 22, 2007 ( – A former high ranking Vatican official and Chilean cardinal, Jorge Medina Estevez, recently stated that the “morning after” pill “isn’t medicine because it cures no disease,” since “pregnancy isn’t an illness”, according to an article by the Catholic news agency ACI Prensa.

  Estevez, who is the former head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, one of the most important divisions of the Vatican, was addressing the recent attempt by the socialist Bachelet government in Chile to force the nation’s major pharmaceutical chains to carry the “morning after pill”, which is used to prevent pregnancy or abort an existing child in the days following sexual intercourse.

  The Cardinal’s strong and consistent stand against so-called “emergency contraception” is a sharp contrast with the positions taken by high ranking prelates in the United States, many of whom have either ignored the issue or have even approved the use of such measures, albeit under restricted circumstances, in rape cases (see LifeSiteNews coverage at

  Although Chile’s three major chains initially refused to comply with the government’s order to sell the “morning after pill”, two have given in recent days under the threat of thousands of dollars in fines from the government. One chain, Salcobrand, is holding out and has refused to negotiate with the government (see recent LifeSiteNews coverage at:

  The Cardinal observed that “to require a company to sell a product is a highly undemocratic action, above all when we’re not talking about medicine”.

  According to ACI Prensa, the Cardinal also stated that he had sent two letters to Bachelet containing scientific documentation that the “morning after pill” causes abortions and does not only operate as a contraceptive, but that Bachelet has not responded.

  Abortion is illegal in Chile.

  Recent coverage:

  Two Chilean Pharmacy Chains Cave in to Pressure to Sell “Morning After Pill”

  Pope Tells Pharmacists Not to Dispense Drugs to Inhibit Implantation; Implications for Plan B at Catholic Hospitals

  Chilean President Signs Decree to Permit Hand-Out of Morning After Pill to Young Girls

  Chilean and US Catholic Bishops go Opposite Ways on Morning After Pill

  Chilean Court Reverses Its Decision and Allows Abortifacient ‘Morning After Pill’




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