“Physicians always seek to save the life of the mother and the child”

Lima, 07/16/2014, (Sodalit News – Peru). Seeking to give a detailed explanation of the social and legal implications of the “Therapeutic Abortion Protocol” recently released by the Peruvian government, the parish Our Lady of Reconciliation invited experts in the fields of both law and medicine to share their reflections and worries in front of a crowd of listeners.


The presentation was led by Dr. Paul Ramos Barrientos, a gynecologist and specialist in bioethics, and Dr. Gonzalo Flores Santana, legal advisor to the Peruvian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Both presenters exposed problems and threats to life from the point of view of their perspective fields. They expressed their shock in front of the “inconsistency in principles” of a protocol that has been rejected by medical organizations; and that the Peruvian bishops have marked as “unnecessary” and as a door for abortion to be de-penalized in Peru.

After outlining his exposition along with a correct definition of the term “therapeutic abortion” along with the definition given by the “National Technical Guide…” – part of the protocol´s official name – , Dr. Ramos criticized that the document has been called a “Technical Guide” in effort to hide its ideological character. He also criticized the euphemisms used throughout the document, showing how terms like “voluntary interruption of pregnancy,” or “therapeutic abortion” hide the true nature of the acts, which terminate the lives of a human beings, and give abortion “another connotation.”

Dr. Gonzalo Flores (L)  and Dr. Paul Ramos (R) during the presentation

Dr. Gonzalo Flores (L)  and Dr. Paul Ramos (R) during the presentation

After explaining some of the common medical practices in front of the possible death of a pregnant mother, Dr. Ramos highlighted the deficiencies of the protocol explaining that “many times we form opinions of things which we learn about through social networks or mass communication; but many times we don’t check the source of that information. If any one of you, who is not a medical professional or lawyer, were to read the protocol you would be surprised, as we have been surprised, at the inconsistencies in the text and the principles that it sets forth.

After these remarks Dr. Ramos concluded his presentation by saying that the protocol “was not necessary because doctors already know the correct procedures in those cases, and neither was it relevant for the care of the mother and the for the survival of the unborn child.”

Dr. Gonzalo Flores Santana, centered his portion of the presentation on the different legal aspects of the recently released pro-abortion protocol. Focusing on different fragments of the “Technical Guide,” Dr. Flores remarked how “laws of a lesser degree, such as the Ministerial Resolutions that passed the abortion protocol, generate confusion and disorder in interpretation. On one side, when they define their fundamental criteria they say “risk;” on the other side one must mention what the Penal Code states. There is a clear technical discrepancy in the norm. The correct procedure would have been to textually cite what the Penal Code says concerning abortion.”

An attentive audience in the Our Lady of the Reconciliation Auditorium

An attentive audience in the Our Lady of the Reconciliation Auditorium

Questioning the real validity of the “Technical Guide,” Dr. Flores explained that it “ought to respect the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution,” and further that “therapeutic abortion is a crime and cannot by sanctioned or promoted by anybody, much less the State itself who should protect the rights of the unborn.” Together with these words Dr. Flores presented various legal documents that protect the life of the unborn, recognizing them as a subject with rights.

Dr. Gonzalo Flores Santa ended his remarks by pointing out that “under judicial order, every person has a fundamental right to life, just like any other person. The life of the unborn is not inferior to that of the mother and because of that abortion is a punishable crime.”

The presentation concluded with a round of questions and answers to help resolve any doubts of both the medical and legal variety among the attending audience.