In Mexico City women can abort before 12 weeks of pregnancy, but it is different in the other 31 states of the Aztec country
In Mexico, for several years, the legalization of abortion has been promised throughout the country, but it still does not happen despite the numerous marches that are carried out throughout the country. The Mexican governors have not advanced towards the fulfillment of this demand. On the contrary, several initiatives have been presented to reinforce the criminalization of women who decide to do so.
Leer en español: México: ¿Cómo va la despenalización del aborto?
For example, in Veracruz, religious groups have promoted bills that consider the fetus as a living human being so that the Constitution protects their right to life, says El Universal. More recently, as El País reports, the right to "conscientious objection" has been promoted, with which doctors can refuse to perform an abortion if they have a stance against it, even in an entity where it is legal, such as Mexico City.
Thanks to this type of actions, the Mexican women have found it necessary to travel to the capital of the country to be able to do a free and -above all- safe practice. According to figures from the Ministry of Health of Mexico City, in the first 11 years of this right in the capital, there have been 194 thousand 153 abortions of women from all over the country, mostly from the State of Mexico, Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo, Morelos, Querétaro and Mexico City, which account for 97.66% of the total cases.
Abortion figures in Mexico
Although the rulers claim to meet the demands of citizens always thinking about their welfare, the figures presented by the Simone de Beauvoir Institute say otherwise. In Latin America, 3 out of 4 abortions are performed in an insecure manner and each year, 760,000 Latin American women receive treatment for complications with their abortions. In Mexico, in 2017, the Ministry of Health reported that during that year unsafe abortion remained the third cause of maternal mortality.
Also read: Is Chile willing to legalize abortion?
Moreover, the Information Group on Elected Reproduction (GIRE, in Spanish) pointed out that several sentences have been imposed on Mexican women who aborted by their own decision or involuntarily. Similarly, GIRE noted that from January 2015 to April 2018, there were 1,666 open investigations for abortion; 228 people were sentenced for this reason and 19 women were admitted to final prison.
Likewise, according to GIRE, in 29 Mexican entities, it is established as criminal grounds that abortion is the result of imprudent or culpable behavior. In 24 states of Mexico, abortion is allowed when there is a danger of death of the pregnant woman; in 15 entities if the woman faces risk to her health; in 16 entities if the fetus has serious congenital or genetic alterations; in 15 if the pregnancy is the result of non-consensual artificial insemination; and in 2 states if there are economic causes to interrupt the pregnancy.
The most affected women are Mexicans in a vulnerable situation, who lack access to information and reproductive health services and come from marginalized communities.
What have been the advances in Mexico?
On these figures, the political party PRI, which currently governs the country, announced that it will provide the Chamber of Deputies with an initiative to promote the decriminalization of abortion at the national level, carrying out various consultations, but maintaining the initial proposal to ensure that in all the entities of the country women can access a legal and safe abortion in the same way it happens in Mexico City. These are still promises that have not yet been clarified, as the next president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has not given any decisive statements on this issue.
The discontented Mexicans have gone on several occasions to the streets to demand their rights as women and citizens. On September 28, about two thousand people gathered in Mexico City, wearing handkerchiefs and green garments as part of the "green tide" movement, shouting "abortion yes, abortion no, that's what I decide". They also took the opportunity to speak out about the feminicides that occurred in Mexico, since more than seven women are murdered every day, according to the United Nations Organization. Most of these crimes remain unpunished.
Women in Mexico expect that the government will not give them a hard setback like in Argentina, when the Senate rejected the will of thousands of citizens who demanded its decriminalization through the so-called "green tide." Thousands of Mexicans are still waiting for their government to stop criminalizing them by deciding on their bodies.
LatinAmerican Post | Ana Cirilo
Translated from “México: ¿Cómo va la despenalización del aborto?”
Listen this article