At the same time as the Peruvian Congress considers depenalizing abortion in rape and fetal deformity cases, a new poll indicates that a majority of the Peruvian people oppose the measure.
According to the poll 53% of Peruvians are against abortion in cases of rape, with 41% in favor and 6% undecided. In cases of fetal deformity, 48% are opposed to abortion, while 46% are in favor, and 6% are undecided. The only case in which a majority regarded abortion as acceptable was danger to the life of the mother, with 58% in favor and 38% against, with 4% undecided.
According to the French Press Agency, the poll was performed by local media, and has a margin of error of 3.1%.
The strong pro-life position of the Peruvian people has been echoed by Rafel Rey, Peru’s Defense Minister, who has threatened to resign if the ministers of the executive branch vote to support the measure.
"I ask those who call themselves defenders of human rights who defend, as is logical, even the rights of a terrorist because he is a human being and also has rights, how they are not going to raise their voice in protest, it seems to me, against abortion, in which the most defenseless person is killed," Rey said recently. Peru’s Minister of Production, Mercedes Araoz, has also expressed her opposition, as has Justice Minister Aurelio Pastor, who has publicly stated that the law would be unconstitutional
However, other executive branch officials have indicated openness to the measure, and the nation’s health minister has actually endorsed it. The position stated by the administration is that it will wait to see if the bill reaches the executive before making a determination. However, the rising tide of opposition has called that possibility into question.
Catholic and Protestant religious leaders are joining their voices to the chorus of protests. Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, the Archbishop of Lima, remarked recently that "Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to ask women who wanted abortions not to abort, but rather ‘give them to me.’ That is the attitude of the Church. Don’t have an abortion, we will take care of them and we will determine how to care for that life, but let’s not introduce the facilitation of death."
Feliciano Ruiz Lavado, president of the Association of Evangelical Theologians of Peru, stated recently that "With the pretext of eugenic abortion people seek to take the life of innumerable defenseless people. Life is a gift of God and to extinguish it at any time would simply be a crime."
The legislation, which was approved on October 13 by the Congress’ Revisory Committee for the Penal Code, will be reconsidered by the same committee on Tuesday of this week, in apparent response to the uproar. Justice Minister Aurelio Pastor has stated in a recent radio interview that he doubts the bill will even make it to the executive branch.
Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Amnesty Again Agitates for Abortion – This Time in Peru
"Human Rights Watch" Expresses Frustration over Peru’s Refusal to Decriminalize Abortion
Peruvian Bishop Condemns Illegally Created Abortion Protocol
US Pro-Abortion Organizations Begin Major Assault on Peru