The plan of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) – Costa Rican Social Security Fund – to introduce the subdermal contraceptive implants method to Costa Rica’s teenagers was condemned by the Episcopal Conference, the highest authority of the Catholic Church in the country.
For Costa Rican Bishops, the Caja’s decision was “inappropriate” for “promoting human sexuality as purely biological, without taking into account the person’s inner core,” they said.
“The ‘subdermal implant’ or other types of contraceptive applied to girls and adolescents without the proper sexual education, according to the moral and religious values of their families, can subject them to sex-genital and sentimental experiences that will negatively affect their affective life, possibly for the rest of their lives because in some way the way to vice has been opened since the years of innocence,” the Bishops said in the statement.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), in 2015 there were 11,600 pregnancies of children under 19 years of age.
“Pretending to address the problem of adolescent pregnancies, the result of incest, rape or improper relationships, through ‘subdermal implantation’ or other types of contraceptives, rather than heal the problem is to expose even more victims and girls of such crimes to their perpetrators,” said the priests.
The priests also criticize that the girls do not need the consent to place the implant, which, according to them, violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the country’s Constitution.
For such, the Episcopal Conference urged parents to reject “all kinds of secularized and antinatalism sex education.”
In July of this year, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) announced that from next year (2018) onwards, 10th grade students will take a specific subject on sexuality, in which they will learn about topics such as biological and psychological changes that occur during adolescence, diversity of gender identities, respect, prevention of violence and improper relationships.