SANTIAGO, January 4, 2010 ( – Chilean President Sebastián Piñera is urging his ministers to stand firm in their defense of pro-life values as the nation’s congress confronts two new legislative proposals to decriminalize the killing of unborn children.

During an ecumenical worship service for Christmas celebrated at the presidential palace, Piñera noted that “for those of us who believe in God, this light is very present. But for all of us, the light of values permits us to illuminate the road.”

“It is good for our government, our ministers and subsecretaries, to always keep in mind the values that inspire our action and which should be that light,” added Piñera, who gave as examples, “the value of life, especially of those who are unborn, the value of freedom in all aspects of the human person, the value of solidarity, the value of justice, the value of respect, care for the environment, and the value of the family, which are some of the values that should guide our action.”

Piñera also called on “all of those who participate in our government, in the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judicial branch, and everywhere, that when we make our decisions that we ensure that they faithfully serve those values, because if they don’t serve them, then they are not correct actions and we have to change course.”

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, who was also present at the service, noted that, after a year of natural disasters, including an earthquake, a mine collapse, and prison fire, Chile is now confronting “the new and deadly legal threat to defenseless children who have not yet been born.”

The statements by Piñera and Cardinal Errázuriz appear to be aimed at two new legislative initiatives presented in mid-December by legislators on both sides of the political divide. One proposal would decriminalize abortions when the life of the mother is threatened, or the pregnancy is deemed “inviable.” Another initiative would add rape cases to the previous two.

Abortion is illegal in all circumstances in Chile and carries criminal penalties, although in recent years the Chilean government began the distribution of the “morning after pill,” which not only prevents pregnancy but also can cause abortions if a child is already conceived.

Chile’s government has produced pro-life television advertisements showing expectant parents who say, “My child hears and experiences the world just as I do. We’re connected!”