Saturday, October 27, 2007


AMERICA/CHILE - The Church and Pro-Life groups mobilise against government fines on pharmacies refusing to stock abortion pill: fines attack life and freedom

Santiago de Chile (Agenzia Fides) - The Chilean ministry of health has fined three chains of pharmacy shops 33 million pesos for refusing to stock an abortion pill. Up to now Chile's principal laboratories refused to produce the pill which had to be imported, but five months ago the pill was made available in the country and the ministry says pharmacies which refuse to stock it will pay a double fine and risk being forced to close down.

Bishop Fernando Chomali, Auxiliary of Santiago and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said in an article "The intolerance of the tolerant"', "the government fines pharmacies which refuse to stock the product on the grounds that the latter violate the people's right to have access to the product. However, when used the pill violates even more fundamental rights " the right to life of the unborn child, protected by the Constitution; the right of pharmacies, by virtue of the principle of autonomy, to decide not to sell a product clearly harmful to health, and lastly the right to be adequately informed of the real effect of the pill. Moreover, Bishop Cromali affirms, "to oblige material and formal collaboration to sell a product harmful to health is clearly an act contrary to reason and contrary to the law ", and therefore "constitutes not only an abuse of power and a product of a mistaken concept of democracy, it is also an act of intolerance in the name of tolerance."

In this situation many Pro-Life groups have mobilized affirming that to force someone to sell a product which leads to abortion is unacceptable. Muévete Chile association has launched a campaign in support of the pharmacies which refuse to stock the pill urging Chileans support the pharmacies recalling that the fines are an attack on life and an attack on freedom.

In a statement in support of the pharmacies the Network for Pro Life and Family Institutions affirmed "this harassment and fines on pharmacies are a direct attack on the conscious objection of pharmacists. They violate freedom of trade, imposing a product which is neither necessary, urgent nor therapeutic".

(RG) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2007; righe 28, parole 391)

"In Cordibus Jesu et Mariae"