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Peru affirms preborn children have a constitutional right to life

by | Nov 27, 2023

By Bridget Sielicki

Lawmakers in Peru overwhelmingly passed a law on November 9 that recognizes that preborn children have a constitutional right to life. The new law passed 72-26 with six abstentions.

Congressman Alejandro Muñante told ACI Prensa that the new law, titled the “Law that Recognizes Rights of the Conceived,” was necessary “to consolidate the right to life from conception, which is already established in our constitution and in the Civil Code and the Children and Adolescents Code.”

Within the law are a number of wording changes to the constitution, including a new civil code that reads:

Human life begins with conception. The human person is a subject of law from his conception. The Peruvian state recognizes and guarantees respect for the dignity of the conceived child, as well as its right to life, individual identity, mental and physical integrity, as well as to freely develop in the womb [i.e., without external interference].

The new law also establishes the “rights of the pregnant mother,” including a guarantee for “the pregnant mother’s access to health, as well as the information required for health care and nutrition of the conceived child during the gestational process.”

According to Congressman Muñante and Catholic News Agency, the law “has achieved good progress in terms of protecting the right to life.” In order for it to go into effect, “all that is required is for it to be published in the Peruvian Official Gazette and the corresponding amendment of the Civil Code.”

The measure was sponsored by Congresswoman Milagros Jáuregui de Aguayo, who praised its passage on X.

“Approved at the insistence of PL 785 of my authorship, which establishes the law that recognizes the right of the conceived, beginning with the right to life,” she wrote.

Abortion is outlawed in Peru, however, “therapeutic” abortions are permitted in instances when the life of the mother is threatened or it is believed that there is a threat of permanent harm to her health. According to Brenda Álvarez, a lawyer working for Proyecta Igualdad, this new constitutional law does not eliminate the therapeutic abortion exception.

Editor’s note: This article appeared at Live Action News and is reprinted with permission.

Categories: Legislation