Peru must build on plans to legalise abortion

Amnesty International has called on the Peruvian authorities to step up recent efforts to decriminalise abortion in the country.

Peru’s Congressional Commission last week issued a proposal to allow decriminalise abortion in certain circumstances, including when a woman or girl is pregnant as a result of rape.

“The removal of criminal sanctions will hopefully contribute to preventing women and girls suffering the anguish and serious health risks of seeking an unsafe, illegal backstreet treatment with uncertain outcomes, no proper aftercare and the possibility of being imprisoned if found out,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty International’s Americas Deputy Director.

Amnesty International has welcomed the Commission’s proposal and urges it to continue the debate it has begun on the issue.

The Peruvian authorities should promote an environment with no restrictions on women’s access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.  

Amnesty International believes that in order to eliminate unsafe abortions and other violations of women’s rights, all laws which permit the imprisonment or imposition of any other criminal sanction on women for seeking or having an abortion must be repealed.

A woman or girl child who has already had her human rights violated as a result of rape, sexual assault or incest must not then have her rights further violated by being criminalised for seeking an abortion in the case of a pregnancy resulting from the original abuse.