On April 24, 2007, the Mexico City Legislative Assembly decriminalized abortion during the first 12 weeks of gestation. The capital city, a federal district similar to Washington, DC, now has one of the most progressive laws on abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean; after only Cuba, Guyana and Puerto Rico; and sets an important precedent for Latin America.
Mexico, the second most populous country in Latin America, has a critical need for contraception, but is unable to meet the demand due to social and economic factors. Access and education must be improved so that women may live in dignity—and equality with men.
News roundup: Support the Freedom of Choice Act; Mexico City legalizes early abortion; North Dakota bans abortion; and Planned Parenthood's media Maggie Awards.
What if I told you that this past Friday, March 16th, Mexico City ushered in a new day, as two gay men became the first to marry under a brand new local law recognizing civil unions for homosexual couples? Don't answer. Now imagine that the municipal assembly and mayor of the city are also preparing to pass laws legalizing abortion in the first three months of pregnancy. Keep silent. What if I remind you that Mexico is 90 percent Catholic? Okay, now scream. Mexico City is bypassing many American states in its ability to de-magnetize the most polarizing of socio-cultural issues.
"No church, no religion can impose its vision of the world in this city," said Assembly leader Victor Hugo Cirigo, a member of the ruling leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution. Words we long to hear from many of our U.S. representatives, state and city leaders are heard around the world as Mexico City sprints to the front of the pack.
Marcy Bloom does U.S. advocacy and capacity building for GIRE – El Grupo de Informacion en Reproduccion Elegida/The Information Group on Reproductive Choice.
I recently had the honor of hearing the powerful remarks of Maria Luisa Sanchez Fuentes, a prominent Mexican feminist and the executive director of the Mexico-City based GIRE. This amazing organization, Grupo de Informacion en Reproduccion Elegida/ The Information Group on Reproductive Choice, has been advocating for reproductive justice and the decriminalization of abortion in Mexico since 1992. GIRE's mission is to contribute to the recognition, respect, and defense of reproductive rights, in particular abortion rights, which upholds women's free choice. Ms. Sanchez Fuentes describes her inspiring work as an extraordinarily difficult battle for a more humanitarian world that truly respects women's rights and lives.