Peruvian lawmakers decry Health Minister’s efforts to legalize abortion

.- A group of Peruvian legislators has sent a letter to the country’s Health Minister, Pilar Mazzeti, requesting that she disclose if her department is considering issuing norms that would allow “therapeutic abortion.”

The letter, dated March 30 and signed by six lawmakers, came in response to a report by the Population Research Institute’s director for Latin America, Carlos Polo, about a “supposed ‘National Protocol’ that would allow for ‘therapeutic abortion’ under certain medical circumstances.”

Polo said anti-life and feminist groups in Peru are on the verge of achieving the legalization of abortion through the implementation of a National Protocol that in practice would allow abortion for an unlimited number of cases and is being supported by Peru’s Heath Minister.

Currently abortion is only allowed in Peru in cases of life of the mother or “grave danger” for her well-being.  However, Mazzeti’s interpretation of  “grave danger” would include almost any medical condition, including “psychological harm.”  The Health Minister also seeks to make abortion available in any clinic, and she would deny doctors the right to object to the procedure for reasons of conscience.

In their letter the lawmakers said the “protocol” would be unconstitutional and that its implementation would be an abuse of executive power.  The approval of such policies, they said, falls to the Congress and would require constitutional and legal reforms.

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