Health policy gives green light to “therapeutic abortion” in Peru

.- Health officials in Lima have adopted a new norm at one of Lima’s state-run hospitals that would permit therapeutic abortion.  The new norm, pro-life leaders say, gives a green light to legal abortion in Peru.

According to the Peruvian daily “El Comercio,” health officials authorized the directive at the beginning of February.  Nevertheless, it was only now made public through a statement by the anti-life organization Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual Rights (PROMSEX).

PROMSEX argued that the norm could be applied in all of the medical facilities of the country, but sources at the Ministry of Health consulted by El Comercio said it would only be applicable at the Instituto Materno Perinatal in Lima—one of the city’s principal state-run maternity hospitals.

The policy stipulates that “therapeutic termination of pregnancy” can take place up to the 22nd week and identifies 17 health conditions or illnesses that would qualify a patient to receive an abortion.

According to PROMSEX, “this protocol will guarantee a safe procedure for those women whose pregnancies should be terminated for medical reasons, thus protecting their lives and their health.”

However, Peru’s former Minister of Health, Luis Solari, said therapeutic abortion was a euphemism for legalizing abortion for any reason.

“Under this guise they are introducing a giant list of illnesses that have nothing to do with endangering the life of the mother.  With this logic any child with Down’s Syndrome will be killed before he is born,” Solari warned.

Enrique Varsi Rospigliosi, an expert in bioethics, warned that the norm couldn’t be taken “as a precedent for performing therapeutic abortions in the country.”  He noted Peru’s extensive legal framework protecting the right to life, including the Constitution, the Civil Code and even general laws on public health.

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April 17, 2014

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