June 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A campaign by Peru’s Planned Parenthood affiliate to lower the age of sexual consent to fourteen years of age is being condemned by the nation’s Catholic bishops as a potential boon for sex trafficking of minors, as well as an incentive to abortion and other vices.

The proposed measure will encourage early sexual debut in minors, the bishops warn, as well as “increase irresponsible paternity, abortion, the accentuation of libertinism and promiscuity, new situations of injustice, exploitation, and abuse among minors and the loss of values necessary in the formation of good men and women.”

The statement, made by Archbishop Salvador Piñero Garcia-Calderon, President of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, adds that “approving this bill would mean a retreat regarding the protection that the government owes to minors who, in addition, are under the authority of their parents, something this bill seeks to forget and relativize.”

Evangelical Pastor Humberto Lay, who also heads the Ethics Committee of the nation’s Congress, noted that “a girl of 14 or 15 years of age is very easily convinced or tricked by a clever adult.”

“Despite cultural changes and the fact that sexual awakening is much earlier than before, we should not weaken or relax the rules, permitting people with bad intentions or who are sick to take advantage of these cases and give free rein to their lower instincts,” he added.

Planned Parenthood wages intense campaign to overturn law

Peru’s Planned Parenthood affiliate, the Peruvian Institute for Responsible Parenthood (INPPARES), is engaged in a feverish campaign to overturn the country’s current law protecting minors from adult sexual abuse. The law, passed in 2006, prohibits sex with adolescents under the age of 18.

In addition to supporting a bill to nullify the 2006 law, INPPARES has organized a nationwide effort to gather signatures to support a lawsuit to overturn it in the nation’s Constitutional Tribunal. It claims it has gathered over 14,000 signatures using adolescent volunteers, which were submitted to support the lawsuit in early April.

INPPARES claims that the existing law discourages adolescents and their sexual partners from seeking contraceptives and other products provided by the organization.

The group’s obsession with overturning the law is about increasing its condom distribution business in the country, according to Carlos Polo, a Peruvian who heads the Latin America office of the Population Research Institute.

“Planned Parenthood is defending this poison because it is a way of growing its potential market for contraceptives,” Polo told LifeSiteNews.com. “Including minors among its customers means a lot of dollars. It doesn’t matter to them if it is better for adolescents to wait and to delay the beginning of sexual relations, which is recommended by science and even the United Nations. What interests them is earning more money.”

The initiative, said Polo, is “an excuse to remove protection from adolescents in the face of rapists, pimps, and pedophiles,” and could transform Peru into a “destination for sexual tourism, because with this law adolescents could prostitute themselves without problems.”

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman is LifeSiteNews.com’s Latin America Correspondent. He can be reached at mhoffman@lifesitenews.com