March 21, 2012 ( – Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has written a column for a Chilean newspaper stating his unequivocal opposition to all direct abortions, including those in cases of rape, and also his opposition to euthanasia and the death penalty.

The article, entitled “My commitment to life,” (read an English translation here) outlines Piñera’s four principal reasons for opposing abortion, which include the personhood of the fetus, legal and practical considerations, and his religious convictions.

Noting that “the Constitution itself requires the legislator to adopt the necessary measures to ‘protect the life of the unborn,’” Piñera adds, “even if we didn’t have certainty regarding the juridical treatment that must be given to a human life in gestation, the correct and wise thing to do is to assume a humble position and opt for that which is most favorable to the protection and development of that life.”


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He also notes, “this is not a decision that belongs only to the mother or the parents of the unborn child. A new, unique, unrepeatable person, distinct from its parents, is also involved, whose life must be defended with greater force, precisely because of its state of complete innocence and defenselessness.”

His fourth argument, which he regards as having the least force in a political debate, is his own faith commitment to the sanctity of human life. “As a Christian I believe that life is a gift from God. Only he has the right to give life and the right to take it away,” he writes.

Arguments in favor of eugenic abortions, in cases of fetal deformity, or “social” abortions, in cases of rape, “are incorrect given that they presume to arrogate to ourselves the right to classify human beings as superior – those who deserve to live – and inferior – those who do not deserve to live – and furthermore, to condemn to death people who are absolutely defenseless and innocent of the circumstances of their conception,” writes Pïñera.

Finally, the president addresses the claim that Chile must conform to international fashion regarding the killing of the unborn in order to be more “modern.”

“Some argue that Chile will be a less modern and civilized country if it doesn’t imitate what other supposedly better developed nations have done, where abortion is not only legal but widely accepted. But they are wrong,” writes Piñera.

“They forget that Chile has a more than one hundred year tradition of protecting fundamental rights, that we were one of the first countries in the world to establish liberty for the children of slaves and prohibit slavery. And precisely the way that a society treats its weakest members – senior citizens, the sick, the most poor, those who suffer some sort of handicap, and unborn children – says much about the level of its civilization than its material wealth, the height of its buildings, the quality of its infrastructure, or its military might.”

President Piñera won the International Protect Life Award from the International Committee for the Protection of Life, in March of last year. He has consistently resisted all attempts to create exceptions to Chile’s absolute prohibition of direct abortion.

Read an English translation of Pinera’s article here.