Human Rights Watch demands Mexico legalize abortion
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.- In a report posted on the group’s website, the pro-abortion organization Human Rights Watch is demanding that Mexican leaders provide “safe and legal” abortion for victims of rape or incest.

In the section entitled, “Detailed Recommendations” of the report “The Second Assault Obstructing Access to Legal Abortion after Rape in Mexico,” the group demands Mexican officials “support the right to immediate unhindered access to safe, humane, respectful, and free abortion services in those cases where abortion currently is not criminalized and in accordance with human rights standards.”

Likewise the group recommends amending the law which created “the National Institute for Women to explicitly include a mandate to further women’s and girl’s access to abortion where currently permitted by law.”  It also calls on the Mexican Congress to pass “laws that ensure women access to voluntary, safe, and free abortions after all forms of rape or incest,” “to guarantee the provision of safe and free abortions at public health institutions,” and to “repeal penal code provisions that criminalize abortion, especially those that punish women and girls who have had an abortion.”

In their report, Human Rights Watch calls for the implementation of a “zero-tolerance policy for public officials’ failure to support victims of violence in their pursuit of justice and redress, bearing in mind that such redress includes access to legal and free abortion,” as well as the implementation of “meaningful sanctions against public officials who obstruct women’s and girls’ right to abortion after rape.”

The report leaves no room for conscientious objection on the part of heath care workers or for parental consent for underage girls who wish to obtain abortions.
The group also demands the “pardon and release” of “all prisoners serving sentences for having procured or induced abortions.”

Ironically, the report also speaks of the need for “physical and psychological accompaniment and guidance for pregnant rape victims who have asked for a voluntary legal abortion,” although there is no mention of post-abortion syndrome, which often arises when the mother realizes she has taken the life of her unborn child.

In a final note, the group indicates that “the obligation of the public health system to provide free abortion services to victims of rape is already established in the legislation of some Mexican jurisdictions.  The national legislation should not distance itself from the standard set by this level of protection.”

The entire report can be found at: http://hrw.org/reports/2006/mexico0306/

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