Mexican abortion laws vary from state to state
By Bill Whatcott
Mexican pro-lifers have had quite a fight on their hands these days. The PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) has recently lost a national election, and after 70 years of power, patronage and corruption, they have to hand over power to the relatively conservative PAN (National Action Party).
While the PAN leader Vicente Fox looks promising, Mexican pro-lifers are taking a wait-and-see attitude, before passing judgment on his actual commitment to life issues, while he is in power. Mr. Fox is known to be a devout Catholic, but has remained quiet on the abortion issue.
The National Post reported July 1 that in response to a question about abortion and homosexuality, Mr. Fox said, “I am a Catholic, so I don’t agree with such things. But I would not legislate against them.”
In an exclusive interview with The Interim, Rocio Galvez de Lara, vice- president of Pro-Vida, Mexico’s largest pro-life organization, said that the secular media and abortion activists have been relentlessly hounding him. “They are determined to punish and intimidate Mr. Fox because of earlier statements that he made indicating a pro-life worldview.”
The Mexican Catholic Church has also not been spared, nor have they shied away from this recent controversy. Feminists have furiously trumpeted the alleged need for abortion for rape victims. The media has also been relentlessly pummeling the bishops for refusing to bend on those rare circumstances where a conception does occur from rape.
The bishop of Guadalajara was attacked by media around the world for arguing that women should not leave themselves vulnerable to sexual assault by dressing provocatively, an admittedly controversial thing to say. Sadly no one questioned why the feminists focus on rape so much, when they actually want abortion on demand for all nine months.
The left-wing mayor of Mexico City succeeded in pushing legislation through in August that would allow abortion for rape, genetic defects, complications with in vitro fertilization, and threats to the life and health of the mother. Mayor Rosario Robles also wanted contraceptive failure, single motherhood and poverty to be reasons for allowing abortion, but she failed to get these exceptions. Her abortion law applies to the Federal District of Mexico City.
On Sept. 24, more than 25,000 Mexicans from over 100 civic and religious organizations, with Pro-Vida in the lead, took part in a pro-life march in Mexico City, protesting the new law. Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico City, was present at the march and said that life must be defended from the moment of conception, and that there is no exception that could justify an abortion.
For their efforts, the cardinal and Pro-Vida have been accused by pro-abortionists in the media of “inciting hatred and violence against abortion providers and advocates.” Mrs. de Lara told The Interim, “The pro-abortionists are not at all happy with our parade, now that they have their law they are very much whining, because we are fighting back.” In fact, the only violence since the Mexico City law passed came from pro-abortion counter-protesters, who physically attacked Pro-Vida president Jorge Serrano and destroyed pro-life signs.
The laws in Mexico vary considerably from state to state. The most liberal state is Yucatan in the south. In this state abortion is permitted for rape, health, life of the mother, as well as economic circumstances. Pro-life investigation has revealed, however, that abortion is granted on demand in one abortuary in the state capital, Merida.
Guanajuato has the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. In this state a debate took place recently on whether legislation should be passed that would punish women who have been raped with a six-year prison term if they abort their child.
According to Mrs. Galvez de Lara, the media has “misinformed the public” on what has taken place in Guanajuato. After a great deal of pro-abortion advocacy, some sectors of the media have announced that Guanjuato’s governor, Ramon Huerta, caved in and scrapped this tough pro-life law altogether. Mrs. Galvez de Lara states that “in spite of tremendous pressure to scrap the law, Ramon Huerta has only modified it after public consultation. Instead of a mother getting six years for aborting her child, now the abortionists and anyone who pressures the woman into an abortion will be liable to six years in prison.”
When challenged on whether or not women who abort their children are morally culpable for their actions, Mrs. De Lara stressed that, “Mexican women really don’t want abortions. They do it out of desperation and ignorance.”With files from LifeSite News