Lima, Sep 16 (Sputnik) .- We are in 2020 and in Peru, 14 years ago, the right of women to access the use of emergency oral contraception (ECP) in the public health system has been hampered by Judicial struggles that seem endless, despite the serious situation of vulnerability of the female population.
The chronology of this contest in courts begins in 2004, when the conservative Catholic organization, Ala Sin Componenda, filed a claim for protection before the justice, in which it asks the Ministry of Health (Minsa) to suspend the sale of ECC, also known as the “morning-after pill.”
Claudia Castro is a lawyer for Promsex, an organization in favor of women's reproductive rights , and specifies to Sputnik that Ala Sin Componenda alleged that ECP has an abortifacient effect, so its use would not be allowed in a country where abortion is legal only in its therapeutic variant.
The trial was ag otating instances until it reached the Constitutional Court (TC), which in 2009 issued a ruling in favor of the religious organization.
Habla y la Ciencia
“The TC ruling speaks of a possibility of that there is an effect (of the ECP) that could affect the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus; then, as the TC states in that sentence that conception is understood from fertilization, this supposed abortifacient effect could happen, although it does not speak of something certain either, but rather that there is a “reasonable doubt” that it may exist (that effect) ” , explains Castro.
Likewise, the TC left open the possibility that, if in the future science clears doubts about this effect and determines it as non-abortive, the court's decision could change.
Thus, in 2014 and with scientific studies that support the non-abortive nature of the ECP in any of its scope, Promsex assumes the representation of a Peruvian citizen who files an amparo action before the courts that requires the Ministry to sell the pill.
Before the delays in the trial, Promsex requests in 2016 a precautionary measure before the First Constitutional Court, which seeks that, given the urgency that women victims of sexual violence or low income can access the AOE, it is necessary It is necessary for the Minsa to issue it so that its rights are not affected.
“By this precautionary measure, the Minsa is ordered to deliver the AOE. The Minsa does it and from that a series of health policies have been generated that include the AOE ”, explains the lawyer.
Finally, in 2019 the First Constitutional Court achieves a sentence in the first instance where it is not only authorized the dispensing of the pill, but it is determined that the TC ruling no longer conforms to the new scientific dictates; In addition, the ruling takes into account that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court) issued a resolution in 2012, indicating the non-abortive nature of the AOE.
This consideration would oblige the Peruvian State to comply with what was sentenced by an international body whose decisions are binding, the lawyer explains.
Even in March of this year the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) admitted the case of the Peruvian citizen María , a victim of sexual violence and to whom, in 2014, the Peruvian State did not provide the EOC or inform her that there was a risk of having an unwanted pregnancy.
This violated multiple rights of women, including the one that he had to receive comprehensive health care as a victim of sexual assault.
The case is represented at the IACHR by Promsex, the organization Paz y Esperanza, and by the Center for Reproductive Rights; The latter specifies exactly that María did not become pregnant or have a child as a result of the sexual assault she suffered, but that the failure of the Peruvian State is so serious that it not only violated widely recognized rights in the country, but also merited attention of a supranational body such as the IACHR.
Despite this favorable scenario for reproductive rights recognized in Peru, the organization Ala Sin Componenda requested to join the process between Promsex and the Minsa as a litisconsorte, appealing the ruling under the abortive argument, despite the fact that the Health authorities agree on the merits of the matter.
The last chapter of this struggle took place on September 10, when the three parties (Promsex, Minsa and Ala Without Componenda), leaving a vote if the request to block the access of the AOE of the conservative organization proceeds.
For the lawyer Castro, a decision in favor of the general ban There would be an “absolute incoherence” in the Peruvian State, which for years has been executing policies that contemplate the use of the AOE, in addition to running the risk of generating international responsibility.
The matter is still pending and we have to wait for the last word of the Justice. (Sputnik)