After years of advocacy from human rights organizations and feminist groups, a bill that would make abortion legal on request for any woman in Mexico City during the first trimester of pregnancy is scheduled for a vote soon by the state legislature of Mexico City. With a population of over 8 million people, the new law will make Mexico one of the most progressive countries in Latin America regarding abortion laws. The only other countries in the region that have liberal abortion laws are Puerto Rico, Cuba and Guyana
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.