By Chilean President Sebastián Piñera
The following comes from a LifeSiteNews.com story originally published on March 18 in El Mercurio.
Before expressing my position with regard to the substance, I think it is useful and necessary to make two considerations of form. The first is that this is a legitimate and necessary debate in a democratic and pluralistic society like ours. The second is that at we must not engage in this debate assuming bad faith or discrediting one’s opponent, but rather arguing, with respect and seriousness, based on principles, convictions, and the search for the common good.
Regarding the substance: as the whole country knows, I am against the legalization of abortion for multiple reasons and in many ways. I have peace in that this is a position that I have maintained in public and in private, for my whole life, including the period in which I was a senator, two times a candidate for the presidency, and it was thusly stated in my presidential position statements, and today I ratify it as President of the Republic.
This firm and clear position is supported by various kinds of arguments. First, one of juridical character. Our Constitution secures the right to life for all people, and both the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Tribunal have invariably ruled that, in accordance with our legal system, the unborn child is also a person, whose life must be protected. And if that weren’t enough, the Constitution itself requires the legislator to adopt the necessary measures to “protect the life of the unborn.”
The second reason is a practical one: when in doubt it is always better to opt for life. Because 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. When we are addressing issues that involve human life or dignity, therefore, it is better to be prudent than proceed in haste.
The third reason is that 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.
The fourth reason is of a religious kind. 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. For that reason, I support protecting life and human dignity from conception to natural death. And for the same reason, I am also against euthanasia and the death penalty….
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