Peru's Push for the Morning-After Pill Is Criticized

Health Minister Aims to Legalize the Potentially Abortifacient Drug

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LIMA, Peru, AUG. 26, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Peruvian bishops' conference assailed the efforts by the country's Minister of Health to legalize the "morning-after" pill again and thus undo the measure adopted by his predecessor.



In a strongly worded statement against the pill which can cause early abortions, the bishops' conference said it "has made known to the Congress of the republic, in the context of the constitutional reform, that the human being, from the first moment of his existence, which begins in the process of fertilization, has the dignity of a person and is, therefore, subject to rights, first among which is the right to life."

In the statement released Monday, the bishops describe the government's population policy as "anti-life," which will lead to "a break in values where ideologies and interests intervene directed against the dignity of the person and contrary to human life."

"These campaigns are due to pressures and are financed by capital coming from abroad and, in some cases, are subordinated to the latter and to economic-financial assistance," the prelates said.

Referring explicitly to the morning-after pill, the Peruvian bishops point out that the latter "impedes the eventual fertilized ovum, which is a human embryo, from implanting itself in the uterine wall; which "in reality is nothing other than an abortion carried out with chemical means."

The bishops exhort health-care professionals "to state with firmness an objection of moral conscience and, with courage, give witness to the inalienable value of human life, especially in face of a new veiled form of aggression against the most weak and defenseless individuals, as is the case of the human embryo."