Tuesday, November 10, 2009

First Latin American Reproductive Rights Congress

This past weekend I presented at the Latin American First Congress on Reproductive Rights organized by the Peruvian Bar Association and the Bars from both Lima and Arequipa at Arequipa, Perú - a beautiful colonnial city. The Congress was a success in terms of I spoke on recent decisions involving termination of anencephalic pregnancies in Latin America - in particular, I discussed "KL v. Perú," a decision by the UN Human Rights Committee that held that forcing women to carry an anencephalic pregnancy to term is cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment - provided it is dangerous for the woman´s health. The decision is the first by the UN HR Committee on the issue of termination of pregnancy, that is, it is a historical decision.

There are many interesting things to this Congress, but one of them was very peculiar: the fact that, even though Perú is generally taken to be a conservative country, the main bar associations gave their support to this event. This, I think, is remarkable because repro rights are usually associated with abortion, and bar associations would not get involved in such a controversial issue.

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