Lawmakers in Peru have passed new guidelines for women seeking so-called “therapeutic abortions” for when her health or life is in danger. The practice has been legal for 90 years, but until last month, medical staff did not have the guidelines to follow. As CCTV’s Dan Collyns reports from Lima, the change to Peru’s total ban on abortion is proving controversial.
They called it the ‘march for life.’ Thousands took the streets of the Peruvian capital Lima to say no to abortion, even in cases where the expectant mother was a victim of rape.
Evangelical church groups joined Catholics, who make up more than 80 percent of Peruvians.
Whether it’s the right to life or the right to choose, the debate around abortion is always emotional. Here in the center of Lima people are marching against any possible change in the blanket ban on abortion. But at the end of last month, Peru’s Congress put into effect a 90-year-old law allowing abortions when a mother’s health or life is in danger. Such abortions had been permitted in theory but were never practiced because there was no protocol for treatment. Even so, some religious groups are calling for the new guidelines to be withdrawn.
Many women’s rights campaigners say the law doesn’t go far enough and call for reforms under the banner of “Let her decide.”
Opinion polls show nearly half of Peruvians are in favor of abortion if the mother’s life is at risk, while around 40 percent are against it under any circumstances. Abortion is prohibited in the majority of Latin American countries, except Cuba, Guyana and Uruguay. But in those cases when the pregnancy is the result of rape, abortion is permitted in Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil.