The Bolivian Episcopal Conference is contrary to Parliament’s draft law laying down various causes that justify abortion, including poverty.
"The proposal distorts the criminal justice system, introducing poverty
as a reason for the impunity for crimes such as infanticide and
euthanasia, as if being poor is a sufficient justification to violate
any law", say the Bishops in a statement sent to Fides.
The reform, which is part of the project of the new Code of Penal System
in the Country, is being studied by the Justice Commission of the
Chamber of Deputies.
Article 157 provides for the practice of abortion
during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, and once, if the woman lives
in the street or in extreme poverty without sufficient resources.
woman can abort if she is already the mother of three or more children
or if she is a student.
The project also provides that the interruption may occur at any time of
the pregnancy if there is a future risk to the life or to the overall
health of the woman, and when there is fetal malformation incompatible
Currently, abortion requires legal permission for all cases,
except when the pregnancy results from violence, rape and incest or when
the life and health of the mother is at risk.
Organizations in favor of women's rights in Bolivia, which is one of the
Countries in the region with major sexual violence, calculate that 185
illegal abortions are performed every day. The Catholic Church says that
the interruption of a pregnancy "devastates a woman's body, with
"The state is obliged to create public
policies aimed at improving the lives of people as well as educational
policies of support for pregnant women", say the Bishops.