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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Laws and Policies in Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Nicaragua
ISSUE 92 - 12 August 2010
This issue of the UNFPA Global Population Policy Update chronicles important laws and policies relating to access to voluntary family planning amended and adopted in 2009 and 2010 in the Latin America region.
On 18 January 2010, Chile enacted Law No. 20.418, establishing norms on information, orientation and the provision of family planning methods. The law guarantees every person’s right to decide freely and responsibly on the family planning method of their choice. It aims to combat teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and sexual violence and their consequences. To give effect to this right, the law codifies each individual’s right to receive comprehensive and unbiased information, education and orientation on family planning methods. It also guarantees each person’s right to privacy and confidentiality regarding their family planning method of choice.
Peruvian Ministry of Health Issues Resolution on Free Distribution of Emergency Contraception Pills in the Public Health System
On 8 March 2010, the Peruvian Ministry of Health issued a resolution affirming that emergency contraceptive pills are not abortifacients and re-establishing free of charge access to emergency contraception (EC) through the public health system. Under Peru’s national family planning programme, public health institutions must provide access to all available contraceptive methods. Resolution No. 167-2010/MINSA affirms that emergency contraception (EC) is a family planning method under the terms of the programme. The resolution also calls for the dissemination of these findings to raise public awareness and dispel misconceptions that EC is an abortifacient and can cause harmful or deadly side effects.
Mexican Supreme Court Upholds Regulation Mandating Access to Emergency Contraception for Sexual Assault Victims
On 27 May 2010, the Supreme Court of Mexico upheld a federal regulation establishing comprehensive guidelines for medical responses to gender-based violence, including a provision that requires hospitals to offer emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault.
The regulation is available at:
On 5 May 2010, Nicaragua approved Law No. 718, which aims to provide special protection to low-income families where multiple births are expected. The law calls for all government agencies to : a) follow such families in order to ensure that their basic needs for social protection are met; b) provide prenatal care to mothers in such families; c) guarantee that such women are allowed to provide maternal care without adverse consequences for their labour status; d) provide such women with two additional weeks of postnatal leave for each additional child born resulting from a single pregnancy; e) guarantee such families with a supply of milk regardless of whether it has social security insurance; f) pay such women additional maternity benefits; and g) give priority in housing to such families.
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as the secretariat for the biennial International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD). The first IPCI/ICPD was held in November 2002 in Ottawa, Canada; the second in October 2004 in Strasbourg, France; the third in November 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand; and the fourth in November 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can stay informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow counterparts in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse the policies described in this newsletter.
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