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The “Morning After Pill” Debate

nullThe Chilean Health Department has decided to give the morning-after pill, for free, to teens over 14 yeas old. This pill is popularly known in Chile as the “day after pill” (“el día después”). The pill will be given in a confidential way and without consent of the parents. The latter – as well as the age of the teens – is what has the political right upset. To understand the social context and sexual behaviour of Chilean people Serginhos (ES) explains:

The people that have the resources get contraceptive methods in a particular doctor's practice or directly in the pharmacies, the people that can’t do that go to the Public Health Service. This has been growing from 600,374 in 1990 to 1,087,743 women in 2004, this important increase (81%) is attributed to a spontaneous demand from the population.

He continues explaining that in the year 2000, the Health Department (ES) with the National Statistics Institute, INE (ES), did a survey revealing that:

52.5 % of the population declared to not use any contraceptive method to postpone pregnancy while 83.8% because “they don’t need it”. The 53.8% of those who use a contraceptive, obtained it from the public health system, 23.8% from the private health system and 18.1% directly from pharmacies”.

Sergio Gajardo (ES), writes about the initiation of Chilean sexuality:

Ten years ago, sexuality in teens started at 18 years. Now, in some segments, it starts at 12. In other cultures women should be virgins to marriage”

The Mayors of “La Florida” and “Huechuraba”, Pablo Zalaquett (ES) and Carolina Plaza (ES), both from the right wing, lodged an appeal of protection to the court. They asked the court to dictate orders to not implement the plan so that the pill is not distributed.

Alejandro Navarro (ES), a leftist Senator responds in his blog:

The attitude of the right wing to show that the government drove this initiative, that it's a threat to the family, that it promotes abortion and premature sexual relations is a double standard and promotes the increase of the unwanted teen pregnancy and eventually abortion; situations that affront social conditions and favour delinquency and drug addiction.

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