SANTIAGO, May 20, 2004 ( – The mayor of Lo Barnechea, Chile, is not yielding easily. The Chilean Health Minister has threatened Mayors to distribute the abortifacient morning-after pill or face sanctions. Marta Ehlers continues to maintain her pro-life position, defying Health Minister Pedro Garcia’s directive. She spoke with the Catholic News Agency (CNA) Tuesday.  “I believe life is the most essential right of the human person and as such is above the authority of the State,” she told the CNA. “The government can only recognize it and protect it, it cannot restrict or limit it in any way.”  The mandated distribution of the pill by mayors was scaled back to cases of rape only, a change from the initial April 15 directive that did not stipulate restrictions. Garcia has threatened mayors who refuse to bow to ministry pressure with monetary sanctions.

“The Health Ministry is seeking to make abortion legal by decree in our country,” Ehlers said.  Ehlers entreated the Chilean people “not to be fooled and to realize that the morning after pill is not a contraceptive, but a method of abortion.”

Read related coverage Chilean Minister of Health Threatens Mayors: Distribute Morning-After Pill or Face Sanctions


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