Sarah A. Huff

Document Type



Under Peruvian law, abortion is illegal unless it is necessary to save the life of the mother. At the same time a woman can be imprisoned if she receives an illegal abortion. Yet, despite its illegality and the threat of punishment, there are over 350,000 illegal and clandestine abortions performed each year in Peru and nearly 65,000 of these women are hospitalized due to complications. Peru has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in South American and unsafe abortions account for nearly one quarter of the deaths. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women may provide an answer to the problem of unsafe and illegal abortions in Peru. Although it doesn't explicitly provide that a woman has a right to access safe and legal abortions, it impliedly does so. This Note argues that the actions of the Convention’s Committee reveal that a woman has a right to safe and legal abortions and that Peruvian women should take the next step by asserting their claim to this right through the formal complaint procedure.