Peru’s Congress passed a bill that reinforced the rights of unborn children on November 9th, Catholic News Agency reports. Law 785 or the “Law that Recognizes Rights of the Conceived” was passed in a 72-26 vote.
Congressman Alejandro Muñante who is also one of the spokespersons for the Life and Family caucus in Peru told news outlets that the purpose of the law was “to consolidate the right to life from conception, which is already established in our constitution and in the Civil Code and the Children and Adolescents Code.”
He said that “the need was seen to be able to develop and detail a list of rights that our constitution precisely seeks to protect from conception.”
The three articles in the law recognize an unborn child as a “human person” separate from the mother and his/her rights to life, integrity and identity.
In Peru’s longstanding Civil Code, Article 1 stated “the human person is a subject of law from birth … but not from conception.”
With this law, the Civil Code will now state “Human life begins with conception. The human person is a subject of law from his conception. The Peruvian state recognizes and guarantees respect for the dignity of the conceived child, as well as its right to life, individual identity, mental and physical integrity, as well as to freely develop in the womb [i.e., without external interference].”
Article 5 of the law which acknowledges the mother’s rights says that “the state guarantees the pregnant mother’s access to health, as well as the information required for health care and nutrition of the conceived child during the gestational process.”
Article 6 continues that “in situations of high medical risk, in which the life of the mother and the conceived child is endangered, health professionals are obliged to inform [the patient] of the diagnosis, treatment, and effects of these on the health and development of the pregnant woman and the conceived child.”
“In the event that the treatment endangers the life of any of these,” it states, “it is up to the mother or spouse, cohabiting partner, or relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity and first degree of affinity, to decide regarding the medical actions to be carried out.”
In order for the law to take effect, Congressman Muñante says, “all that is required is for it to be published in the Peruvian Official Gazette and the corresponding amendment of the Civil Code.”