The Costa Rican Bishops' Conference (CECR) has expressed dismay at the government’s decision to allow all women who want it to access the “morning after pill.”
Costa Rica is often presented as one of the most peaceful democracies in the world. It is forgetting to say that it has become, over the years, one of the most progressive: a shame for a Latin country which has 62% Catholics and 22% Evangelical Protestants.
Latest episode to date: the liberalization of the so-called “morning-after” contraceptive pill, which is now available free of charge in all healthcare establishments in the country, by a decision of the Social Security Fund.
It should be noted in this regard that the morning-after pill has, in a number of cases, a contragestive action, in other words, it prevents a fertilized egg - and therefore a child - from attaching itself in the uterus. It is therefore an abortion. A press release from the Pontifical Academy for Life of October 31, 2000, provides a useful clarification on this subject.
The Costa Rican Bishops' Conference (CECR) was quick to react: “this decision violates the fundamental right to life, which is sacred because it involves the creative action of God from the start,” and that the creature “always remains in a special relationship with its Creator, which is its ultimate end,” the Costa Rican prelates affirmed with force in a press release published on May 5, 2021.
Therefore, “God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning to its end: no one, under any circumstances, can claim a right to directly kill an innocent human being,” reminded the CECR members.
This is not the first attempt in moral liberation matters for the country. Already in 2018, the Supreme Court declared the ban on same-sex marriage as being unconstitutional.
Two years later, the country became the first country in Central America to legalize this practice.
How did they get there in a predominantly Catholic country? It all goes back to the presidential elections of 2018: that year, on April 1 ... Costa Ricans elected Carlos Alvarado to the supreme office, by nearly 61% of the vote.
The 38-year-old French-speaking, non-practicing center-left Catholic, the new head of state has defied all odds, after being credited with low voting intentions in various polls. The ballot, according to observers, saw a “religious clash” around the issue of same-sex marriage which divided all debates.
The recent measure to liberalize the morning-after pill is, for its part, one more step towards legalizing abortion. At the beginning of March 2021, the NGO Costa Rican Movement for a Legal Abortion, presented an initiative aimed at decriminalizing abortion, which it hopes to be able to file in Parliament if the proposal collects at least 170,000 signatures.
“We ask that it not be allowed to promote a policy going against the life of the most vulnerable being that is the human embryo,” warns the episcopal conference for its part, which doubts it will be heard by an executive little inclined to defend pro-life values in a country where the birth rate has already been at half mast for several years.