Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-11-00

Clinical Trials

Since 1991--the year Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori devoted to "family planning"--Peru has instituted several programs to curb teen pregnancy and maternal mortality. "Peruvian women must be in control of their own destiny," Fujimori claimed. Yet for Marina Machaca, who charged that she was raped by a doctor at a public health facility in 1996, it has taken four years to gain control--and justice.

Machaca had gone to a clinic with a headache and fever, but there, she says, her doctor, Gerardo Salm-n Horna, drugged and raped her. Machaca pressed charges, but Horna was acquitted. Researchers at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP) and the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights (CLADEM) learned of her case while preparing Silence and Complicity, a first-of-its-kind report on violence against women in Peruvian public health facilities, which was published in 1998. They took her case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which, in October, forced the government to pay reparations to Machaca and improve the treatment of rape victims. At press time, activists from CRLP had joined CLADEM representatives in Peru to further negotiate the settlement.

Silence and Complicity contains frightening testimonies from women and girls that reveal patterns of verbal, psychological, and physical violence. It documents rapes of gynecological patients, the medical neglect and legal prosecution of women suspected of having had an abortion, and verbal attacks on unmarried women seeking reproductive services. Researchers also found that many health care workers believe that pregnant or sexually active women deserve pain and suffering.

CLADEM published a separate study last year that documented sterilization quotas targeting poor, rural women. The quotas were instituted by Fujimori the very year he began championing reproductive rights.

"The government's reaction has been to blame a few 'zealous' health workers," says Jo-Marie Burt of the North American Congress on Latin America, a U.S.-based research organization, "and deny that it was official policy." But activists aren't buying it. "They're holding the government accountable," says CRLP's Kathy Hall Martinez.

Back to Ms.

Media Resources: MsMagazine


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/22/2014 Under the Affordable Care Act, More Women Then Ever Have Free Access to Contraception - Two-thirds of American woman now have access to free birth control, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Guttmacher Institute released a study Thursday showing steep increases in the number of women who were able to take full advantage of the ACA birth control benefit. . . .
 
9/22/2014 Climate Change Activists Take Over Manhattan to Demand Action - An estimated 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan over the weekend to demand world leaders take action on climate change. The People's Climate March, which some are calling the single largest call for climate action ever, took place ahead of Tuesday's emergency UN Climate Summit. Joining the march were several labor unions, former Vice President Al Gore, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. . . .
 
9/22/2014 New President and National Unity Government Announced in Afghanistan - The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced yesterday that the Afghan people have elected Dr. . . .