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History of Family Planning in Twentieth-Century Peru$
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Raúl Necochea López

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469618081

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469618104.001.0001

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Abortion and Accusation

Abortion and Accusation

Experts and Lay People between Crime and Custom

Chapter Three Abortion and Accusation
History of Family Planning in Twentieth-Century Peru

Raúl Necochea Pearson

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the different actions that women took in Peru to avoid having children and the strategies that people employed to avoid prosecution in medical, legal, and social environments. Republican Peru first considered abortion as an act of homicide which was consistent with the Catholic idea that male fetuses over forty days and females over eighty days had souls. However, many women were still able to procure abortion by relying on their social networks. Despite the fact that physicians witnessed many instances of pregnancy loss, they rarely instigated criminal accusations of abortion. These factors created the dangerous circumstances that led to miscarriages and a higher infant mortality rate.

Keywords:   Republican Peru, Catholic, homicide, miscarriages, birth control, family planning

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