More than half of all Peruvians are opposed to legalizing abortion in cases of rape or fetal deformity, according to a national poll released Sunday on a controversial bill pending in Congress.
The results of this week's Ipsos-Apoyo poll of 1,000 people showed a majority of Peruvians siding with the Roman Catholic Church in its strong condemnation of the abortion bill Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani has dubbed a "death penalty" for the the innocent.
The survey found 53 percent against the bill's provision allowing abortions in cases of rape, and 48 percent against the fetal deformity clause -- those in favor of the measures polled 41 percent and 46 percent respectively.
The bill was approved last week in committee, making it ready for its full debate in Congress.
By a 58-to-38 percent margin, Peruvians supported the current 1924 abortion law that allows the termination of pregnancy only to save the life of the expectant mother, said the poll published in the El Comercio daily.
Cipriani and Defense Minister Rafael Rey head the anti-abortion bill movement in Peru.
Cipriani has denied allegations made in a report by civil groups that some 300,000 illegal abortions are performed each year in Peru. He sides with the Peruvian Bishops Conference's recent statement that pregnancies should not be terminated for any reason.