Forced Pregnancies

Peru has one of the highest rates of reported rape in Latin America. An estimated 62% of these affect women between the ages of 10 and 17. At the same time, congenital malformations are one of the main causes of perinatal death in pregnant women. Young rape victims are particularly at risk. However, abortion continues to be illegal for all women – apart from when their life is at risk, which is very difficult to determine.

Manuela Ramos has worked on this issue for over 40 years. Two years ago it supported a key initiative when, along with other groups, it presented in the Congress of the Republic a bill that decriminalizes abortion in cases of rape or fatal fetal abnormality.

Bill 387 was supported by various congresspeople and other feminist organizations. It included public policies which promoted the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents through the provision of differentiated and integrated services and which also provided for comprehensive sexual education in schools, based on scientific evidence and from human rights and gender equality perspectives.

The bill also proposes legalizing abortion and ensuring the provision of support services for survivors of violence, trafficking and sexual exploitation.

It is hoped that further support can be built for this bill so it will be debated in parliament during the coming months and end this epidemic of women being forced to continue with pregnancies against their will.

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