Peru Congress passes law reinforcing unborn’s constitutional right to life

The first article of the recently passed “Law that Recognizes Rights of the Conceived,” or Law 785, establishes the unborn as a subject of rights with full status as a human person. The second article guarantees the conceived child’s distinct genetic identity, unique and unrepeatable, independent of the mother and endowed with its own personality.

Article 3 of the new law recognizes the rights to life, health, moral, mental and physical integrity, identity, free development, well-being, and other rights that benefit the unborn human being.

As for the current Civil Code, Article 1 makes a distinction between the conceived child and human person by establishing that “the human person is a subject of law from birth” and thus leaves room for arguing “but not from conception.”

As amended, the Civil Code states: “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, referring to the “rights of the pregnant mother,” establishes 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.”

The final Article 6 states 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.”

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