Chilean Supreme Court Strikes Down Free Distribution of Abortion Drug

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

SANTIAGO, April 4, 2008 ( - In a decision that has rocked the pro-abortion regime of Michelle Bachelet, the Chilean Supreme Court has struck down a government program that distributes the abortifacient "morning after pill" free of charge to adolescents and other women eligible for the program.

The pill, which is taken in the hours after sexual intercourse, either acts by aborting the newly-conceived child by preventing implantation in the uterus, or by preventing conception if it has not already occurred.

Details about the verdict, which will not be officially announced until April 22, are not yet known.  However it is reported that the decision split the Court down the middle, resulting in a 5-4 vote.

The case, which was brought by a group of pro-life legislators in Chile’s National Congress, has profound implications for Chilean society. Although the decision reportedly does not affect private pharmacies who wish to sell the drug, it will eliminate the government’s handout program, which also affected major pharmaceutical chains that did not wish to carry the drug (see LifeSiteNews coverage at

According to Spanish-language media reports, the decision also has implications for other abortifacient contraceptive measures, such as the Interuterine Device (IUD).

The Bachelet administration, using standard pro-abortion rhetoric, characterized the decision as "a great danger from the health point of view" and complained that only the wealthy would be able to use the drug.  "What is maintained is a tremendous inequality, given that they are going to continue to be sold in pharmacies and won’t be able to be delivered or sold in the public system."

However, Magaly Llaguno of Human Life International hailed the decision as a major victory for the right to life in Latin America. 

"The Chilean Constitutional Court has recognized a fact that science and the pro-life movement have known for years: that the morning after pill often acts as an abortifacient," she told

"Vida Humana Internacional applauds the Chilean Constitutional Court decision and hopes that it will have repercussions in many other countries, especially in Latin America, where legal battles against the distribution and use of this deadly pill are also taking place," she added.

The organization has warned in the past that abortifacient contraception is causing more abortions than other methods in Latin America.

The Chilean government claims that one third of Chilean women of childbearing age use contraceptives.

Previous coverage:

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

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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