Peru one step closer to legalising abortion
Amnesty International has welcomed the Peruvian Congress' decision to stand by its proposal to decriminalize abortion in cases where women and girls become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. "We hope that the Commission's proposal will soon become reality so that women and girls in Peru no longer have to face the suffering that the present legislation condemns them to," said Guadalupe Marengo, deputy director of Amnesty International's Americas programme. The Commission in charge of reviewing the penal code voted in favour of their original proposal on Tuesday. The bill is now due to be debated in Congress. Amnesty International said the Peruvian authorities should promote an environment with no restrictions on women's access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. The organization said it 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permit the imprisonment or imposition of any other criminal sanction on women for seeking or having an abortion must be repealed.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 criminalized for seeking an abortion in the case of a pregnancy resulting from the original abuse," said Guadalupe Marengo.