Peru Recognises Right to Life

Peru - which already has strong pro-life laws - is taking further steps to protect pre-born children. On November 9, the Peruvian Congress approved Law No. 785, which determines that life begins at conception and recognizes the child in the womb as protected by law. The government has established that “the child, both born and unborn, has its own identity, including a unique and unrepeatable genetic identity and a personality independent of his mother.”  

The law does not repeal Article 119 of the Penal Code permitting abortion in the case of a risk to the mother’s life but does state that “any child before birth has the right to dignity, life and integrity like any human being.” The law was put forward by Congresswoman Milagros Aguayo of the conservative party Renovación Popular two years ago and approved last April. 

After several changes from the executive branch, Law No. 785, also referred to as the “Law that Recognizes Rights to the Conceived,” passed by a margin of 72 to 26 with 6 abstentions. Like the “Shield Against Abortion” law in Honduras, the law does not enshrine new rights, but buttresses Peru’s pro-life regime against attacks from abortion activists.  

“The objective of this law is to have a norm that clearly and expressly recognizes the rights constitutionally granted to the conceived, as established in article 2 of our Magna Carta, beginning with the recognition of the right to life, from which all other rights flow,” spokespersons for the Peruvian Congress said in a statement.