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Montevideo, June 23rd 2024 - 20:59 UTC



Paraguay not welcoming UN suggestion to legalize abortion

Saturday, June 8th 2024 - 10:30 UTC
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“They are free to make recommendations, but we are free and we will enforce our sovereignty,” Gutiérrez stressed (Pic ABC) “They are free to make recommendations, but we are free and we will enforce our sovereignty,” Gutiérrez stressed (Pic ABC)

Paraguay's Minister of Childhood and Adolescence, Walter Gutiérrez, said Friday in Asunción that a suggestion from the United Nations to legalize abortion in the South American country collided with the Constitution and other national laws. “We would have to change the constitution,” he explained.

 The National Constitution recognizes life from conception, so it is not possible to decriminalize abortion in the country, Gutiérrez also noted. “We went and gave very emphatically our position, respect for our Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay that guarantees the right to life from conception. They are free to make the recommendation they want, but we are also free as a sovereign and self-determined people to respect our regulations,” he said.

Gutiérrez also pointed out that the ruling National Republican Association, also known as the Colorado Party (ANR-PC), which holds a Parliamentary majority, disagrees with decriminalizing abortion and insists on being steadfast custodians of life from conception, in the firm belief that the best interests of the child are of constitutional rank.

The UN also pressed Paraguay on the age of consensual marriage, saying that the current requirement age should be lowered from 18 to 16 years.

In addition, the UN addressed the question of gender orientation for children. The documentation, sent to Paraguay by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, also urges the facilitation of “rapid, transparent and accessible legal recognition of their gender identity, without abusive conditions for trans and gender-diverse children and adolescents”. In another section, it requests the country to “adopt gender education and make it part of the mandatory school curriculum.”

Gutiérrez argued that Paraguay's Constitution already speaks of guaranteeing equal rights and eliminating all forms of discrimination. “The intention they have is to go individualizing different collectives, that is unnecessary.” Hence, there was no need for an additional act of Congress, the minister maintained. “How is a child going to resolve whether he or she is transgender or not transgender? We really have many other problems, many other priorities to address, and it does not fit our line and philosophy of work,” he added.

Gutiérrez said that the UN questioned the government's stance on policies based on the family approach, which the President Santiago Peña administration claims needs strengthening.

Regarding Paraguay's reply to the UN via the Foreign Ministry, Gutierrez said “we have stated with surprise, for example, that they took into consideration statements that are not true, for example, the case that there was like a conspiracy line here of an anti-vaccine issue, that children stopped vaccinating because of that, a totally fallacious situation.”

“Our government, guarantees as a major premise the protection of life from conception, the protection and the focus on guaranteeing the rights of children from the strengthening of the family in its protective role,” he added.

“I understand that it bothers many to talk about a protective approach to the family, but while we talk about the best interests of the child, obviously the child is or must be within the family, a child cannot be dissociated from the family, so in addition to seeking the protection of children's rights, there is also the protection of the family and our public policies are based on strengthening the family, we said it very strongly, very clearly and we stand by it,” he also told Radio Ñandutí.

The United Nations (UN) officially sent Paraguay a series of recommendations on changes in the area of children and education. “Decriminalize abortion in all circumstances and guarantee access for adolescents to safe, timely, and quality abortion and postabortion care services,” the document expressly states.

Categories: Politics, Paraguay.

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