25 April 07
Abortion Rights applauds the Mexico City legislative assembly’s vote to legalise abortion in the city. The move will allow abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and comes after years of campaigning from women’s rights groups.
There are an estimated 200,000 illegal abortions in Mexico each year, killing at least 1,500. The World Health Organisation estimates that every year four million women in Latin America have an illegal abortion, leaving hundreds of thousands of woman dead or seriously injured.
The Mexico City move was vociferously opposed by the Catholic Church, including with a letter from the Pope, and the assembly had to be protected by riot police to allow the democratic decision to be taken.
This is a further advance for women in Latin America and follows the groundbreaking victory in the Colombian courts, which overturned that country’s strict anti-abortion laws. Other Latin American countries are also actively reassessing their abortion laws with a view to preventing the large-scale and unnecessary deaths of women.