Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Thursday approved a bill that bans abortions under most circumstances, with exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is at risk.
The legislation is the latest attempt by Kucys administration to make abortion more accessible, and to give women a legal voice in a country where many are deeply religious.
The new law does not affect the status of abortions performed elsewhere in Peru.
Kuczys spokesman Luis Carlos Lago said the law does make exceptions for rape, when the woman’s life or health is at stake and when “the mother’s health is threatened.”
But Lago declined to say how many abortions are permitted under the law.
Abortion opponents cheered the decision as a victory for women and families who were still trying to obtain legal abortions.
They called it a victory against the “war on women.”
The country’s Supreme Court has ruled that abortions must be performed in a hospital, but the new law requires hospitals to inform women in advance of their right to an abortion.
Lago defended the decision to limit the number of abortions allowed, saying women in Peru can be detained for up to three days.
Abortion is still illegal in Peru, where the population is more than 80 percent women and half rural.
But the country’s Catholic Church has traditionally been the most staunchly pro-abortion in Latin America, even though abortion is considered a human right.