By Hilary White

SANTIAGO, September 6, 2006 ( – Several of Chile’s mayors are balking at a federal government order to make the abortifacient Morning After Pill available for free to girls as young as 14 starting this month. The drug, a massive dose of the same hormones found in regular birth control pills, must be given on demand and will not require a prescription or authorisation from a girl’s parents.

Marta Ehlers, mayor of the Santiago district of Lo Barnechea told reporters she is “indignant” at the order. Ehlers said that she would not permit the distribution of the drug, even if it is mandatory.
“If they take strong measures against me, I will accept them or I will fight, but I will not distribute the pills,” she said.

Some mayors have vowed to have the entire case reviewed by the Constitutional Tribunal. La Barnechea Mayor Marta Ehlers announced, “We are considering presenting a case to the Constitutional Tribunal that the administrative measure violates one of the fundamental rights of our Constitution: the right to teach our own children (how to behave) until they are mature enough to make important decisions.”

Under pressure from international groups and the UN, the Chilean Supreme Court ordered the distribution of the drug in a 2005 decision. That ruling was the culmination of years of battle between local government and international population control groups working largely under the auspices of the United Nations.

The ruling was a reversal of a 2001 decision recognizing the abortifacient nature of the drug and banning its sale in Chile. The government swiftly introduced another version of the pill claiming that the ruling only covered the one brand named. Such antics have characterized the fight up to the December 2005 decision when a majority of Chile’s mayors refused to comply and the federal health ministry threatened sanctions.

Estación Central Mayor Gustavo Hasbún, though in favour of making the pill available at public health clinics, was quoted by the Santiago Times saying, “We will continue to demand notarized parental authorization from minors age 16 and under… If we take away parents’ authority over their children, we could be promoting an immense crisis within the nuclear family.”

Until the 2005 Supreme Court ruling, Chile had remained one of the few countries in the world that banned all abortion and there are still a large number of leaders in the country fighting the incursions of the abortion campaigners.

Senator Andrés Chadwick said on Sunday, “The morning after pill generates abortion-like situations, which is why it should not be distributed at all—neither to girls under 14 or over 14, with or without parental authorisation, or with medical certification.”

The current coalition government of Chile is cooperating with the international population control effort begun in the 1970’s through the UN. Last September, the government created the post of Secretary of Sexual Education within the Education Ministry, which has as part of its mandate the task of increasing availability of artificial contraceptives.

The US State Department’s National Security Study Memorandum 200, written by Henry Kissinger and thought to be the blueprint for the population control movement, listed Chile as a target country and noted that its birth rate had dropped significantly since the imposition of “family planning” measures.

The efforts are making huge progress in Chile. The Kissinger memorandum said that between 1960 and 1970, Chile’s fertility rate dropped 3.4 per cent. Chile’s health department reported recently that the birth rate has dropped even more precipitously since 1983, from slightly above “replacement” level of 2.5 children per woman to 1.9 in 2003, a drop of 24 per cent.

Along with a dropping fertility rate, the rates of sexually transmitted diseases have also begun to climb, including that of HIV infection. Fifty percent of all new cases of the disease occur in Chilean under 24 years of age, precisely that age group most targeted by sex education campaigns.