By Charles Igwe
The Catholic Bishops of Peru strongly oppose the recent decision by a medical board to authorize an abortion for an 11-year-old girl, emphasizing the responsibility of the state to safeguard both the mother’s and the unborn child’s right to life.
In an official statement, the Conference of Peruvian Bishops reaffirmed the Church’s doctrine regarding the right to life for unborn children and the rights of the child’s mother.
Condemning the “unjust and heartless act” of violating the unborn child’s right to life, the Bishops declared their opposition to such actions.
They emphasized that the Church’s continuous teaching is to ensure the preservation of the rights of both the mother and the child in such cases.
While a Medical Board in the Loreto region of Peru ruled that a “therapeutic abortion” wasn’t applicable due to insufficient conditions, such as imminent danger to the mother’s life or lasting harm, a separate Medical Board in Lima reversed the decision and granted approval for the abortion.
In response, the Peruvian Bishops underlined that life is an “absolute and inherent right,” originating from the divine gift, which is safeguarded by the fifth Commandment: “You shall not kill” (Ex 20:13).
Citing both the Peruvian Constitution and the Code for Children and Adolescents, the Bishops affirmed that every human being is recognized as a child from conception to the age of twelve, placing the duty on the State to protect the unborn child.
Based on this foundation, the Bishops stated that the government, including the Ministry of Health, should use modern obstetric resources to ensure the well-being of both the pregnant mother and the unborn child.
Concern for the culture of life
Expressing concern about the persistent push to decriminalize abortion, the Bishops urged civil authorities and healthcare practitioners to champion a culture of life and resist endorsing the “culture of death.”
Lastly, the Bishops appealed for proper care for the young girl named ‘Mila,’ advocating her recovery from the trauma of rape without resorting to abortion. They also called for the prosecution of the rapist according to the law to prevent further abuses.