Good news for women in Mexico City: the Mexico City legislature has legalized abortion in the first three months of pregnancy, a big step forward for women’s health:
Feminists hailed the vote as a clear victory. For decades, poor women here have resorted to clandestine clinics, traditional midwives and herbal potions to end unwanted pregnancies. Scores die every year in botched abortions. “It’s a triumph for women’s rights,” said María Consuelo Mejía, the director of Catholics for the Right to Decide.
The usual grumbling from pro-lifers and religious groups ensued, and the law will likely be challenged. But in the meantime, the vote shows that the legislature of Mexico City is beginning to break free of the Church’s influence, and not just on reproductive issues:
The fight has driven a wedge into this deeply Catholic society and shed light on the waning influence of the church in the wake of sexual abuse scandals involving priests. In January, church leaders could not stop the city assembly from passing a law allowing civil unions among homosexuals.
Now with this vote, this capital city became the largest entity in Latin America, outside Cuba and Puerto Rico, to permit women to have abortions on demand in the first trimester. The vote, which legalized abortion within the federal district, means that the 10 million women in Mexico City and its suburbs will have easy access to an abortion. And anyone living in Mexico could travel here for an abortion.
Proponents of the law say they hope it will become a model for states in Mexico, most of which only allow abortion under conditions like rape or danger to the mother’s health.
Make no mistake: this will save lives as it allows women access to safe, legal abortion. Congratulations, Mexico City!
Thanks to Melissa M. in comments.
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