Mexican legislators introduce bills to legalize abortion

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected president of Mexico on July 1. Credit: Pedro Mera / Getty Images News
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected president of Mexico on July 1. Credit: Pedro Mera / Getty Images News

.- Two Mexican legislators introduced this week proposals seeking to legalize abortion throughout the country.

Abortion is a crime in Mexico on the federal level, permitted only in cases of rape. In Mexico City, the country's capital, the procedure was decriminalized in 2007, it can be performed for any reason during the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy.

The legislators are both members of Morena, the political party of the president-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Congresswoman Lorena Villavicencio introduced a bill October 22 designed to recognize what she called “the right of self-determination of women over their body and their life.”

“We want abortion to be legal, safe, and free,” said the congresswoman.

Villavicencio said that “Mexico must stop criminalizing women who interrupt their pregnancy in the first 12 weeks, just as Mexico City has done.”

The lawmaker also stated that her bill “must not have to pass the moral or religious litmus test,” since “this is an issue of the exercise of freedoms, the decision about whether or not a woman wants to be a mother. And unfortunately, an issue of public health, because these restrictions have harvested the death of many women.”

Villavicencio introduced her bill just two days after nearly one million Mexicans turned out October 20 for demonstrations in more than 100 cities in defense of life, the family and fundamental freedoms.

The day after the her bill was introduced, the Mexican state of Sinaloa announced the final ratification on October 23 of a constitutional amendment establishing that: “Everyone has the right to have their life respected. The state protects the right to life from the moment an individual is conceived, enters under the protection of the law and is considered as born for all legal intents and purposes, until their natural death.”

López Obrador won the Mexican presidency July1 and his party, Morena, gained the majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives.  The legislators elected this year took office  September 1 whereas the president-elect will assume the office December 1

Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, who also is a member of the Morena party and president of the governing board  of the House of Representatives, proposed October 23 an amendment to Mexico's constitution which would declare a right “to decide in a free, responsible and informed and safe manner whether to have children or not” as well as “to receive services to access the highest level of sexual and reproductive health.”

Muñoz Ledo acknowledged that a proposal directly in favor of abortion could “very easily be thrown out,” and so he was advised “to formulate it in a different way, that would mean the same thing.”

“A betrayal of the people”

For Rodrigo Iván Cortés, president of the National Front for the Family (FNF), which organized the massive October 20 demonstrations, the bills introduced by the Morena party legislators are “a very bad sign.”

Speaking to ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language sister agency, “the talks held with the people on Lopez Obrador's transition team seemed to indicate attention and sensitivity to these issues, however he apparently has not exercised his leadership” with Morena party members in the congress.

For Cortés there is “a stark contradiction, because the vast majority of those that are here (in the newly elected congress) didn't win their elections on their own but won through the momentum generated by Lopez Obrador. And during the campaign Lopez Obrador never proposed any of these things. Neither abortion, euthanasia, marriage equality, drugs or gag laws.”

“And what we're seeing is that those partisans  that are in the congress  are heading toward an outright betrayal of the people.”

The FNF president pointed out that “the big question is: Does Lopez Obrador want to honor his word, does he want to fulfill what he said many times during the campaign to not lie, steal from, or betray the people? Because if he fails to keep this (promise)  then we're going to have to fear the worse for everything else.”

He warned that Lopez Obrador's legislators  “are not attending to the people, they don't have ears to hear the people, they don't have the heart to attend to the real needs of the people. And what they're bringing on is an agenda of radical ideologies which have nothing to do with the good of the Mexican population.”

“No party ought to promote murder”

Maria Lourdes Varela, the director for 40 Days for Life for Latin America stressed that “abortion goes against the population” and “no party ought to promote the murder of their children.”

“Abortion is not a human right, because there is no right to kill,” she told ACI Prensa.

Regarding the work being done by 40 Days for Life on the international level, Varela explained that “we are aware that this battle is too big” there are many economic resources and also the media, politicians, international organizations that directly promote that a woman is the enemy of her own child, and so she sees the child as a burden, and she comes to think that the solution to any of her problems would be to eliminate her own child.”

“As we recognize that our forces are limited, we are asking God to help us win this battle, that he would transform, that he would move the hearts of those women who are thinking of abortion, that they would see that the solution could be otherwise, that death never is going to put an end to any of her problems,” she said.

They also ask God to transform the hearts of the abortionists and those who promote its legalization.

Varela also encouraged everyone who can to join 40 Days for Life, “because we are all necessary.”

“It's not a question of one or two people praying, but that the converted Catholic population would ask God's favor so that He would reign once again and life would be respected.” she said.


This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Tags: Abortion, Catholic News, Mexico