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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September, 2003, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Chilean TV snubs anti-divorce ads
By Clinton Porteous
BBC Santiago correspondent

Chile's leading television network has rejected a request from the Roman Catholic Church to broadcast warnings against the proposed introduction of a divorce law.

Chile street
Chileans are not allowed to divorce
The Church has produced several anti-divorce television advertisements, one of which claims that children of divorced parents are more likely to have drug, alcohol and behavioural problems.

The second and third most popular channels are running the advertisements free-of-charge as a community service.

But a spokeswoman for the state-funded Television National told the BBC that the Church's campaign did not qualify as a community service announcement as there was no national consensus on the matter.


Chile is one of few democracies in world where there is no divorce law.

After six years of delay, the Chilean Senate is expected to vote in the coming months on a new law.

Opinion polls regularly show that 70% of Chileans are in favour of a introduction of the divorce law.

Critics of the Church advertisements say they are presenting one side of the divorce argument using statistics that are irrelevant to Chile and contradicted by other studies.

The head of the National Service for Women, Cecilia Perez, has called it a campaign designed to provoke terror.

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