Church in Peru Urges Scientific Debate on Morning-After Pill

LIMA, Peru, JULY 12, 2004 ( The Peruvian bishops’ conference is promoting a national debate on “the dangers for human life” of the morning-after pill.

The episcopate’s president, Bishop José Hugo Garaycoa Hawkins of Tacna and Moquegua, said the question about so-called emergency contraception has been transferred to the National Agreement forum. The forum, which includes members of diverse sectors of society, is discussing proposals to promote national reconciliation and development.

Specifically, it was agreed to study the dangers to human life represented by the morning-after pill, the bishop said in a statement issued Saturday.

“After having explained the reasons on which the bioethics commission of the Catholic Church bases itself when questioning the inclusion of this drug in state policies, it was agreed that both sides should explain and present their documented proofs,” Bishop Garaycoa Hawkins stated.

“This being a topic of public interest and of scientific character, we suggest that the debate take place in an academic atmosphere such as the Major National University of San Marcos, on the day and at the time agreed on by both sides,” he said. “The results of the debate will be presented in the National Agreement forum and communicated to the media.”