.- On Tuesday evening the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City, dominated by members of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, voted to legalize abortion in the Mexican capital up to the twelfth week of pregnancy.
The vote came despite a majority of Mexicans expressing their opposition to the proposed law in recent months, with thousands signing a petition calling for a referendum. Debate on the new law ran into the night and was finally passed by a vote of 49-19. Police officers stood outside to keep protestors away from the assembly building.
The new law defines illegal abortion in Mexico City as “the interruption of pregnancy after the twelfth week of pregnancy.”
However, the controversial norm also includes lighter penalties for women who decide to undergo an abortion after twelve weeks. Public health care facilities will also be required to provide abortion to those who request it, and the Mexico City government will enact programs to promote “sexual health” and “reproductive rights.”
Many analysts believe the new law could lead to the legalization of abortion throughout Mexico.