Bishops warn of "sexual paradise" for child predators if bill succeeds
by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
LIMA, November 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The International Planned Parenthood Federation is promoting a new bill in Peru that would lower the age of sexual consent to 14 years of age, provoking outrage from pro-family groups and warnings that the country could be converted into a "sexual paradise" for child predators.
While the bill's proponents claim that the law is necessary to prevent teens from being prosecuted for consensual sexual intercourse, opponents say that it will increase the level of sexual activity among teens, who rarely have sexual relations in conservative Peru, and open them up to easy exploitation by adults.
"Approving this law as it is seems to me to be absurd and silly," said Archbishop José Antonio Eguren of Piura in a recent statement. "In the first place, the statistics of the Peruvian government indicate that fewer than 15% of adolescents arrive at 18 years of age having engaged in sexual activity. Do we want this number to increase? Do we want the sexual relations of adolescents to increase and therefore elevate the number of pregnancies in our young people?"
The Archbishop is also concerned that the law will "give license to unscrupulous people who can take advantage of minors who are not sufficiently mature to understand the magnitude of their sexuality," and states that "approving this law runs the enormous risk of converting our country into a 'sexual paradise' for tourists interested in child and adolescent prostitution. Is this the image of Peru that we want to give to the world?"
The new bill is being introduced as the Obama administration is helping to bombard the country with an estimated 18,000,000 condoms, a measure that is being decried as an act of subversion against the sexual morality of Peruvian youth.
Carlos Polo, the director of the South America office of the Population Research Institute, told LSN that the real purpose of the measure seems to the promotion of business interests that will profit from increased promiscuity among teens.
"The biggest beneficiaries of the decriminalization of sexual relations between adolescents are the businesses who sell contraceptives," said Polo. "The segment of the population between 14 and 18 years, which the bill is targeting, would be a succulent business for these companies, which is why the unusual 'enthusiasm' of the promoters of this bill seems suspicious."
The bill, which was approved by the "Justice and Human Rights Committee" of the Peruvian Senate earlier this month, has now passed to the full legislature for its approval. It is being supported by the International Planned Parenthood Federation's branch in Peru, which is called the Peruvian Institute for Responsible Parenthood (INPPARES).
Embassy of Peru in the United States
1700 Massachusetts Ave., N.W
Washington D.C. 20036
Telephone: (202) 833-9860 to 9869
Fax: (202) 659-8124
Embassy of Peru in Canada
130 Albert Street, Suite 1901
Embassy of Peru in the United Kingdom
52 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9SP
Tel: 00 44 20 7235 1917, 0207235 2545
Fax: 00 44 20 7235 4463