Peru Rejects Legalizing Abortions on Babies Conceived in Rape or Incest

International   Micaiah Bilger   Nov 27, 2015   |   10:46AM    Lima' Peru

Peruvian lawmakers upheld the right to life for unborn babies Wednesday when they dismissed a bill that would have permitted abortions of babies conceived in rape.

A legal commission rejected the bill in a 6-4 vote Wednesday after it was brought forward by abortion advocates in the South American country, AFP news reported. Another legislative committee also rejected the bill in May, according to the report.

“Abortion is unthinkable for most Peruvians,” said Julio Rosas, a lawmaker and pastor. “Protection of life surpasses religion and politics. We cannot allow this country to promote death.”

President Ollanta Humala, however, supported the abortion bill. Humala told news outlets in June that “women must be in charge of their own bodies.”

The head of the congressional committee, Fredy Otarola, also supported the abortion expansion. After the vote, he claimed that pro-life lawmakers were turning their backs on victims of sexual abuse and violence, according to the news outlet TeleSurTV.

“I tried to give them the medical conditions so that they would be free to decide,” Otarola said.

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As the committee debated the bill, abortion advocates protested on the streets of Peru, claiming that the bill would force rape victims to seek unsafe, back-alley abortions, the news report stated. They also claimed that the Peruvian legislators decided based on “religious and ideological interests,” not women’s rights, the report states.

Abortion activists also staged a protest in August, calling for abortion to be legalized in cases of rape, LifeNews previously reported. However, these protestors decided to undress to get their message across and walked around half-naked with flowers painted on their chests.

The group that organized the event, Dejala Decidir, says they’ve had multiple demonstrations in Peru. In fact, the group had a run in with the police on August 12 at an event in downtown Lima. Peru This Week reports that during the event protestors walked around bare-chested with painted words and smeared fake blood on their bodies. Although it is unclear how the abortion proponents got into a conflict with the police, officials had to use tear-gas to stop the event.

Most Peruvians oppose abortion. In March, LifeNews reported that a record number of Peruvians marched in the streets of the nation’s capital, Lima, in defense of innocent unborn babies. More than half a million people participated in the Peru March for Life.

Currently, abortion is illegal in the Catholic country except when the life of the mother is in danger.

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