DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     June 3, 1998     vol. 9, no. 107

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          LIMA (CWNews.com) - A secret program of forced sterilizations for poor women has collapsed after the Church and several human rights groups publicly denounced it, said sources at Peru's Ministry of Health on Monday.

          "Sterilizations have decreased in 68%" as a consequence of "a dramatic lack of confidence both in the method and in health agents," the sources said. The report also said that other artificial methods, with the exception of condoms, have experienced the same fall in popularity.

          Jorge Parra, director of the Reproductive Health and Planned Parenthood program, said, "Obviously, we will not reach our annual goal to perform 78,000 tubal ligations and 22,000 vasectomies throughout the country, and we also had to suspend our sterilization festivals." Parra blamed the Catholic Church for employing "a subtle guerrilla war against the program."

          Last December, Catholic bishops, pro-life groups, and congressmen started a campaign to stop forced sterilizations in the poorest regions of the country. Despite the partial failure of the birth control program, criticism of the plan continued. The People's Defense Center -- an arm of the Peruvian judicial system -- is currently looking into 56 cases of forced sterilizations among young women, the majority of them 18-year-old, to see if any laws had been broken or their civil rights violated.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 3, 1998       volume 9, no. 107


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