Angela Heimburger, My Rights, and My Right to Know-Lack of Access to Therapeutic Abortion in Peru, HRW, 8 July 2008


My Rights, and My Right to Know

Lack of Access to Therapeutic Abortion in Peru

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I. Summary and Key Recommendations

II. Methodology

III. Background

Maternal mortality and morbidity in Peru
Abortion prevalence and conditions warranting therapeutic abortion
International assistance

IV. Illustrative Cases of Lack of Access and Its Consequences

Case of M.L.
Case of K.L. 
Case of L.C.

V. Obstacles to Therapeutic Abortion

Vague and restrictive laws and definitions
Absence of protocols on therapeutic abortion
Ad hoc approval and referral procedures / lack of accountability
Fear of prosecution or malpractice lawsuits
Cost of abortion procedures and lack of social insurance coverage
Low levels of awareness about exceptions to the criminalization of abortion

VI. International Law Standards and Response of International Human Rights Officials and Experts 

Right to life
Right to health
Right to non-discrimination
Right to privacy; the right to decide on the number and spacing of children
Right to information
Freedom from cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment
Purported conflict of rights

VIII. Recommendations

To the Ministry of Health
To regional health ministries and departments
To the Ministry of Justice
To the National Human Rights Ombudsman Office (Defensoría del Pueblo)
To the Peruvian Congress
To the Medical College of Peru
To the US Agency for International Development
To Other Bilateral Donors
To the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics
To the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
To the United Nations Population Fund and other organizations within the UN System, and the Pan American Health Organization
To the UN Human Rights Council

IX. Acknowledgements