* Originally posted on ANEWS echo
* Original Date: 25 Mar 91 00:42:00
* Original From: Nyt News

 from PeaceNet via The NY Transfer 718-448-2358, 718-448-2683
 Written: 3:46 pm Mar 21, 1991 by pnnewsdesk in

 Copyright Inter Press Service 1991, all rights reserved.

  an inter press service feature
  by abraham lama

  lima mar 21 (ips) -- to achieve its goal of lowering peru's birth rate
over the next five years, the government plans to develop programmes on birth
control methods for adolescents, the group with a high birth rate and
practically no sexual education.

  the national population council is to present its five- year plan within
the next several days. one of its goals is to reduce the population growth
rate from 2.2 percent to 1.9 percent.

  programmes for teenagers will include birth control information, job
counselling, and drug prevention techniques.

  a 1990 report done in lima shows that out of 29,000 births carried out at
a given clinic, 5,800 were to girls under 18.

  also, a health ministry study on adolescent sexuality shows that among
6,000 girls surveyed between the ages of 11 and 19, one out of every four
had been pregnant at least once.

  carlos aramburu, president of the national population council, has said
that "in the poor neighbourhoods along the coast and the farming
communities in the mountains, women are responding in an organised
and institutionalised manner to the social problems which form the
basis of family decisions."

  women's organisations sponsoring workshops, community soup kitchens and
child-care centres will help spread concepts such as 'responsible
fatherhood' and birth control techniques thought to be more
effective, he pointed out.

  according to data collected by the population council, there are 5.2
million women who are within the fertility range, and only 1.7 million
use some kind of modern birth control method.

  "we are hoping at the end of the five-year plan, there will be 2.4 million
women using birth control (methods)" said aramburu.

  in the case of teenagers, the population programme will not concentrate
exclusively on birth control but will incorporate plans to deal with other
fundamental problems which affect that age group.

  for women, there will be programmes for battered women and rape victims, a
campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion, and education for public
officials who work closely with women and women's issues.

  regarding the abortion issue, aramburu said the population council is
preparing to present a recommendation to the legislative commission
proposing that it revise the penal code.

  "we are not proposing to legalise abortion, rather to de-criminalise it,
while taking into account the following cases to justify such action:
therapeutic reasons, when the fetus is found to be endangered and when the
pregnancy is the result of rape," he explained.

  the population programme plans to take a census in jul. 1992. it will be
taken by the national statistics and information institute (inei).

  felix murillo, head of inei considers it to be a matter of "urgency to
take a census, especially taking into account the profound changes
undergone by peruvian society including immigration and the social and
political violence which affects health, education and housing."

  according to murillo, results of the census will help to evaluate the
socio-economic impact of the government's anti- inflationary measures.

  End of text from