Last week legislators in the Mexican state of Puebla rejected any attempt to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage.

Members of the Joint Committees for the Procuration and Administration of Justice and Gender Equality of the Puebla Congress voted Oct. 4 in favor of two initiatives of the state governor, Miguel Barbosa Huerta, which seek to keep abortion as a crime and reject same-sex marriage, reiterating that marriage is solely the union between a man and a woman.

If the reforms are passed in the full session of the unicameral legislature in the coming days, the State Civil Code will read: "marriage is a civil contract by which only one man and only one woman join together in society."

The Puebla Criminal Code will read: "a sentence of six months to one year in prison shall be imposed on the mother who voluntarily obtains an abortion or consents to another performing the abortion."

This last reform means a significant reduction in the sentence for abortion, which currently carries up to five years in jail.

Barbosa, as well as most of the legislators who voted in favor of the initiatives, belong to the National Regeneration Movement, or Morena. The party is generally supportive of abortion rights.

Marcial Padilla, director of  ConParticipación, told ACI Prensa that the decision by the lawmakers  was at once "positive and surprising."

"What's surprising is that the governor, who is of the Morena party, and the legislators  introduced and passed some initiatives to maintain the protection of the life of the child, that is, they rejected the legalization of abortion."

"They did soften the penalties, but they maintained the protection of the life of the child," he said, and pointed out that "they also reinforced that marriage is the union of one man and one woman."

More in Americas

Padilla then emphasized that this legislative decision "is encouraging for us, because we see that the politicians can listen to the citizens."

"The causes for the right to life and the family don't have to fall along party lines,  they don't have to be the whim of a few politicians bent on an ideology."

"We citizens should not be afraid, we must be constant, firm, assertive, until all political parties assume, without hesitation, an agenda in favor of the right to life and the rights of the family."