Lima, Peru, Apr 2, 2013 / 04:20 pm (CNA).- Health and legal experts throughout Peru are denouncing a recent recommendation by the U.N. Human Rights Commission that the nation loosen its laws regarding abortion.
In a report presented on March 28, the United Nations commission recommended that Peru “revise” its laws on abortion to allow the procedure in certain cases such as rape and incest.
“Abortion should be allowed in these cases because they are performed anyway, but in a clandestine, illegal and unsafe way,” the report argued.
Peru “should adopt a national protocol to regulate the practice of therapeutic abortion,” it stated.
Abortion remains illegal in Peru, but it carries no sanction in cases when the life of the mother is in danger. Various feminist organizations are pushing for abortion to become legally viewed as a woman’s “right.”
In statements to the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, constitutional expert Victor Garcia Toma said the Peruvian government is free to ignore the U.N. recommendation because it is not binding on the nation’s law and “does not conform in any way to what our Constitution says regarding the principle of the right to life.”
The former president of the Council of Ministers in Peru, Luis Solari, also criticized the commission, saying, “The U.N. itself is violating the Convention on the Rights of Children and the American Convention on Human Rights.”
“This is where one realizes that abortion supporters have installed themselves in the United Nations and are using that forum to pressure countries to legalize abortion,” he added.
Solari said the Peruvian government should respond that “the laws of Peru apply within Peru and that the United Nations has no right to interfere in that.”
Peru’s former foreign relations minister, Jose Antonio Garcia Balaunde, also noted that the U.N. statement is merely “a recommendation and is non-binding.”
“The government will decide what it will do,” he said.
Peruvian Congresswoman Martha Chavez observed that the report was presented just 10 days after the country’s current minister of justice, Eda Rivas, attended a U.N. conference on human rights in Geneva.
“It would be interesting to know what her position was before this Human Rights Commission,” Chavez stated. “Did she succumb to pressure from pro-abortion NGOs?”
“No international organism can force Peru to go against what its constitution says,” Chavez added.
“Out of natural wisdom – and not because of religion – we Peruvians are not going to allow ourselves to be turned into Sweden or Finland, where the abortion rates are higher than the birth rates,” she emphasized.
The vice president of Peru’s Congressional Committee on Justice, Heriberto Benitez, said, “The political constitution is very clear when it says that the supreme purpose of society is the human person.”