….Ten of Mexico’s 32 states have decriminalized abortion — most of them in just the past three years….
Two other Latin American nations — Argentina and Colombia — recently legalized abortion nationwide. But in Mexico — a federal republic — each state has its own laws and criminal codes….
The Catholic archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, has condemned moves to decriminalize abortion, declaring that they are tantamount to an attack on God. The National Front for the Family, a major anti-abortion group, has formed networks that offer economic and psychological support to women who are considering abortions because they lack the resources to continue their pregnancy.
And in Oaxaca, a member of the National Bar of Christian Lawyers recently presented lawmakers with a petition signed by 7,000 people opposing the decriminalization of abortion.
“Anyone who deprives another person of his life commits homicide,” lawyer Lilia Hernández told the Associated Press. “Many times, they say that those of us who are in favor of life are outdated, but the law arose to protect the family.”
In 2019, Oaxaca was among the earliest states to decriminalize abortion….
Mano Vuelta, a Oaxacan organization led by Indigenous and Afro Mexican women, has been seeking to raise women’s awareness about their sexual and reproductive rights, including their right to have an abortion. Much of the outreach is done in Native languages — in Oaxaca there are 16 of them.
After monitoring several communities, Mano Vuelta determined that most young women were unaware that abortion was legal in Oaxaca. The organization also says most health agencies and clinics in the state lack translation services and provide no information about abortion in Native languages.
Mexfam [part of International Planned Parenthood] launched an initiative in 2020 to build a network of doctors that women from Oaxaca’s central valleys could visit if they were considering ending a pregnancy.
Alina Gutiérrez, who worked on the project, said Mexfam staffers went from clinic to clinic, talking to doctors and offering them training and free medication for women seeking an abortion. With persistent outreach, some of the medical professionals were willing to cooperate, Gutiérrez said. “There were others who said: No, we are not going to kill babies….”
Abortion is legal up to 12 weeks of pregnancy in Mexico City and nine states — Oaxaca, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Colima, Baja California, Guerrero, Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo — and up to 13 weeks in Sinaloa. It is allowed throughout the country in cases where a pregnancy results from rape, and in some jurisdictions when the life of the woman is in danger or there are severe fetal abnormalities.
In an 11th state, Coahuila, it’s illegal to criminalize a woman who has an abortion, due to a 2021 ruling by Mexico’s Supreme Court. Abortion-rights supporters say the ruling should be applied to all other states, but most of them have not revised their laws to conform….
The above comes from a Nov. 4 Associated Press story.
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