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12.10.08 - The Center submitted a petition before the UN Human Rights Committee challenging the refusal of Peruvian public health officials to perform a therapeutic abortion, though Peru’s laws permit it, and articulating this behavior as violating a myriad of human rights.
Filing date: 11/08/02
Center Attorney(s): Luisa Cabal and Lilian Sepúlveda
Partners: CLADEM and DEMUS
Summary: K.L., a 17-year-old, was pregnant with an anencephalic fetus. Although Peruvian abortion law permits abortion when the life or health of the mother is in danger, K.L. was denied an abortion and had to deliver the baby and breastfeed her for the four days she survived. Our complaint alleges that K.L.’s pregnancy severely compromised her life by endangering her physical and psychological health and that the second half of her pregnancy (during which she desired but was denied an abortion) was a clear violation of international standards prohibiting violence against women, and constituted cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by state officials. On November 17, 2005, the UNHRC rendered its decision in our case, establishing that denying access to a legal abortion in the case of K.L. v. Peru constitutes a violation of the ICCPR. The ruling specifically establishes violations to the right to be free from cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment (Art. 7), privacy (Art. 17), and special protection of the rights of a minor (Art. 24), among other things.