Coalition welcomes Peru’s decision to provide free emergency contraception
30th August 2016
Peru’s Health Minister Patricia Garcia announced on Tuesday that emergency contraception (EC) will be offered free of charge at the country’s state hospitals within 30 days.
The Coalition, which has been directly involved in the lead-up to this historic decision, congratulates the Peruvian government for its timely vision, as the region faces rising pressures from the Zika epidemic, which causes severe birth defects in fetuses.
Tuesday’s decision is the culmination of a years-long struggle to provide EC freely to women in Peru who need it. In 2009, authorities banned distribution of EC through the public health system, though it remained available in private facilities. In Peru, EC has long been held by its opponents to be abortifacient, and thus has been demonized in a country where abortion is harshly criminalized in most instances.
The Coalition’s Regional Advisor, Milka Dinev, has provided close support to the ministry in accessing technical information and clarifying that EC does not induce abortion. “Emergency contraception is one of a handful of key reproductive health technologies not routinely available that the Coalition supports and advances, in the spirit of increasing choice and access to women and men in low- and middle-income countries,” she said.
“It is a landmark day for Peru, a day which furthers women’s rights to choose whether or when to plan a family.”
The Coalition’s LAC Forum, for which Ms Dinev serves as advisor, is preparing for a regional summit with 200 participants who will ask tough questions about the inequities in reproductive supplies access in Latin America. For more information, please contact Milka Dinev on firstname.lastname@example.org.