Amid efforts to legalize abortion in Chile, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago reminded President Michelle Bachelet of the intrinsic value of all human life. Bachelet has announced her decision to push for the legalization of abortion in Chile, while at the same time calling for more “care, control and wellbeing” for pets. “With all due respect for pets, I think the person and human life are worth much more than that,” Cardinal Ezzati said, according to local media. Former president Sebastian Pinera said via Twitter that he agreed with Cardinal Ezzati and regretted that the Bachelet administration “seems more concerned about the wellbeing of pets than about the lives and dignity of unborn children.” Currently, Chile has some of the world’s most pro-life laws. Abortion has been illegal in the country since 1989, making it one of the few countries in the world where the practice is completely outlawed. However, government officials have recently announced efforts to legalize the practice. Claudia Pascal, minister of the National Service for Women, said that the goal is “a sexual and reproductive rights law that guarantees autonomy for both men and women over their decisions and access to sexual and reproductive health in our country.” The first step, she told reporters, is to legalize abortion in cases of fetal inviability, rape or incest, and situations in which doctors say the mother’s life is in danger. In an article published May 19, Elard Koch, director of the Molecular Epidemiology in Life Sciences Accountability, questioned the effect this would have on the well-being of women. Koch noted that Chile is internationally recognized “as a country that protects maternity and infancy and that currently has the lowest maternal mortality rate in Latin America, followed on the American continent only by Canada.”
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