Today marks a historic day in Mexico and the Latin American region.
The Legislative Assembly has just decriminalized abortion during the first 12 weeks of gestation in Mexico City! The capital city now has one of the most progressive laws on abortion in Latin America, after only Cuba and Guyana.
This watershed bill was approved by 46 of the 66 representatives and includes not only the decriminalization of abortion up to 12 weeks, but also reduced sentences for women undergoing abortion after 12 weeks and the definition of pregnancy beginning at implantation. Mexico City's Health Law was also strengthened to guarantee sexuality education and campaigns on reproductive and sexual rights, the availability of birth control methods, as well as comprehensive and quality abortion services upon request. This inclusive bill on women's reproductive and sexual rights emphasizes the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and will decrease maternal mortality.
Much work remains to be done, including within the Ministry of Health to ensure the full application of this law, since all women requesting abortion during the first 12 weeks of gestation must have access to this service, free of charge. Conservative forces have already pledged to bring an unconstitutionality suit against the bill, and the legal battle will begin soon.
But in the brief respite we have until this new stage begins, the Pro-Choice Alliance, along with many, many other organizations and individuals, and indeed most importantly Mexican women, will savor this momentous occasion and we know you will join us. We are proud to have played a part in this history-making process!
In defense of women's lives and rights!
María Consuelo Mejía, María Eugenia Romero, María Luisa Sánchez Fuentes, Raffaela Schiavon, Sandy García, Gillian Fawcett, Emily Barcklow, Jennifer Paine, Eugenia López, Sandy Poire and the staff of CDD, Equidad, GIRE, Ipas and Population Council -- an alliance supported by the Global Fund for Women.