A deputy with Morena, the political party associated with President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has presented a proposal to decriminalize abortion and eliminate from the Federal Penal Code the penalty imposed on women who abort before 12 weeks of gestation. According to the current law, any woman who aborts after 12 weeks of gestation can be imprisoned.
One of the characteristics of the abortion law in Mexico is that the time of imprisonment is conditional on the case and the woman. “A mother who aborts voluntarily or who consents that another person aborts will receive a sentence of between six and 12 months in prison,” according to the Federal Criminal Code.
Lorena Villavicencio, a Morena deputy, proposed on Tuesday the elimination of the sanction for aborting before the 12th week of gestation and eliminating the categorization of abortion as a crime that deserves a prison sentence. She also proposed the law be amended so that women who practice abortion voluntarily after 12 weeks of gestation be given a sentence of three to six months of community work.
A number of anti-abortion groups in Mexico met last Friday in Mexico City to protest against the decriminalization of abortion in the country. Bishop Salvador Rangel, from Chilapa, Guerrero, released a video in which he declared that “the decriminalization of abortion is part of a world agenda to go against life and reduce the population through ideas that favor abortion and gender ideology.”
On the other side of the debate, associations like Fondo MARIA have pronounced themselves in favor of the decriminalization of abortion, using the slogan, “Abortion without prejudice; deciding is not a crime, it is a right.” Oriana López, a representative of Fondo MARIA, criticized the current legislation. “The causes that are already indicated as exceptions to criminalization are not accessible. We support women who have had an abortion due to health problems or rape, but we also support those women who decide to have an abortion for whatever reason,” López said in an interview with Animal Político.
This month, the Ministry of Health of Mexico City published a report on the Interruption of Legal Pregnancy (ILE) that included statistics for the April 2007 to October 2018 period. According to the report, during that period, 202,698 abortions were legally performed in the country, of which over 70 percent were conducted in Mexico City.
Industry Analyst and Journalist at Mexico Business Publishing