Abortion is still punished in Mexico

Abortion by choice is still banned in most Mexican states

Abortion is still punished in Mexico
Women protest in favor of abortion in Mexico City - Photo: Yadin Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL
English 28/11/2018 16:43 Mexico City Xóchitl Álvarez y Lizbeth Flores Actualizada 16:46
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The states that punish women for having abortions the most are Guanajuato and Querétaro, and only absolves them from criminal responsibility when the pregnancy is the result of rape or abort the fetus by accident, in any other case they are arrested.

In Chiapas, Nuevo León, and Tabasco, they criminalize women who suffer involuntary, spontaneous, or accidental abortions.

A study carried out by The Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE) shows that there are 8 causal factors of legal abortion in Mexico, encompassed in the 32 states' criminal codes, but none of them includes the 8 causals.

The excluding liability causals are rape, a threat to the mother's life, imprudent reckless, non-consensual insemination, health issues, genetic alterations, economic issues, and by the woman's choice.

GIRE found that in all the states, abortion is legal when it's the result of rape. In contrast, Mexico City is the only state where abortion, until the 12th week of gestation, by choice is legal.

“This has driven many women, from different regions, to carry out the procedure safely in Mexico City,” said María, who is part of the Morras Aguascalientes association, who contacts women who want to abort through social media and accompanies them through the process.

The study shows that abortion is punished even when the woman in danger of death in Campeche, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Michoacán, and Querétaro.

The states with the most legal abortion causals are Michoacán, Mexico City, Baja California Sur, and Tlaxcala, with 6 causals each. Michoacán and Yucatán are the only states that allow abortion due to economic issues.

Norma Nolasco, the founder of the Guanajuato's United Single Mothers Group (Grupo Unido de Madres Solteras de Guanajuato) and member of the Women's Wide Movement (Movimiento Amplio de Mujeres), explains that the country's public policies and laws don't contribute to eradicating violence against women, on the contrary, women are attacked and criminalized.

“Speeches and actions are two different things,” said the activist in regards to the political speeches that talk about the respect of women's dignity. For example, Guanajuato and Querétaro are the states with the most restrictive laws.

In the face of this type of violence, women had to take the streets, with the feminist chant: “Take your rosary out our ovaries, take your doctrine out of our vagina.”

The activist emphasized that the laws that punish women for having an abortion go against the Constitution's article 1, that establishes the respect towards human rights. “Human rights must be handled in a wholesome way, not by parts, abortion is a human right.”

It's evident that we are living through “institutional violence” with those laws that punish and restrict, damage, lacerate or hinder rights just for being a woman”, she said.

“If the government, the municipalities, or the federal government don't handle public policies in regard to the sexual and reproductive rights of women, they are neglecting agreements, treaties, and protocols signed by Mexico and, as a consequence, this is a clear sign of institutional violence” she explained.

The public policies and neglect from lawmakers have forced women with the necessary economic means to travel to Mexico City and access a safe in any public hospital, but those who lack the economic means get abortions at clandestine and unsanitary clinics, risking their lives.

Mexico City, a sanctuary

According to GIRE's 2018 report, 202, 380 women had an abortion in the last 11 years in Mexico City, since it was approved in 2007.

The report explains that 70% of the users are from Mexico City, and the other 30% come from all over the country, where abortion is criminalized.

The balance contrasts with the authorized abortions in each entity, where they have allowed 30 abortions due to rape in 12 states, from December 2012 to October 2017.

According to the GIRE, the majority of accusations of abortion are filed by those who work in the health industry, who report or threaten women, who they consider had an intentional abortion.


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