Petition denounces ‘direct persecution’ of pregnancy center by Mexico City health department

Pregnant woman Credit: Omurden Cengiz/Unsplash

An online petition that accuses the Mexico City Ministry of Health of the “direct persecution of the Women’s Help Centers (CAM)” and has gained more than 9,000 signatures.

The petition, launched by the Actívate (Get Active) platform, says the health ministry “is trying to take away all the vans of the Women’s Help Centers, since up to now they have impounded one unit, and they have also closed [one of] the center’s fixed locations where they serve women who decide to continue with their pregnancy.”

The Women’s Help Centers, the signature campaign explains, “perform ultrasound scans near abortion centers” and care for women “in a comprehensive way to carry their pregnancy and show them a different alternative to what the government offers.”

In a recent statement to the media outlet MVS Noticias, Oliva López Arellano, secretary of health of Mexico City, accused the pro-life pregnancy center of carrying out “deceptive practices aimed at misinforming people and on these mobile sites, mobile vans or trucks ... very close to some health centers where we have the legal interruption of pregnancy, where we have this service.”

“They misinform people, they present themselves as if they were part of the health services,” she said.

López Arellano, who since 2018 has been part of the cabinet of Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City’s head of government, said that they impounded a mobile unit and intervened at one of the locations of the Women’s Help Centers, presenting “the respective complaints” to the Mexico City attorney general’s office, because “some anomalies that we observed can be considered crimes.”

The thousands of signatories of the Actívate campaign affirm that Arellano’s accusations are “totally absurd and that it demonstrates her hatred of the pro-life centers.”

Abortion on demand has been decriminalized in Mexico City up to 12 weeks of pregnancy since 2007, when Marcelo Ebrard was mayor of the metropolis, then known as the Federal District. Ebrard is currently secretary of foreign relations under the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

During López Obrador’s term, which began at the end of 2018, and with the encouragement of his party, the Movement of National Regeneration (Morena), similar abortion laws have been passed in the states of Oaxaca, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Coahuila, Baja California, Colima, Sinaloa, Guerrero, and Baja California Sur.

Claudia Sheinbaum, a member of the Morena party, is considered one of the potential candidates of López Obrador’s party for the 2024 presidential elections.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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