by Steven Ertelt
April 25, 2007
Mexico City, Mexico (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in Mexico who are disheartened by a vote in the capital city’s legislative assembly to legalize abortions there plan to protest at the places where any abortions are performed and to release the names of abortion practitioners that do them. Their hope is to dissuade facilities and staff from doing the abortions.
The Mexico City legislature voted Tuesday 46-19 to legalize abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The mayor of Mexico City is expected to sign the bill into law though pro-life groups and legislative leaders say that they may take it to court on grounds that it violates the Mexican Constitution.
The bill also forces government-financed health clinics to do abortions if low-income women ask for them and be paid under the city’s health insurance plan, putting an additional financial strain on it.
Jorge Serrano Limon, the head of the pro-life group Provida told AP the protests could involve blocking the entrances to facilities where abortions are done "to stop this crime from being performed."
Pro-life advocates are concerned that, while unborn children would be protected elsewhere in the country, Mexicans could flock to the nation’s capital city for abortions.
They also worry about abortion advocates using the vote as a tool to legalize abortion not only in Mexico but in other Latin American and Caribbean nations, most of whom protect the right to life of unborn children.
"It’s sad that Mexico City has become a bad example for other states," said Jorge Serrano, the committee’s leader. "Mexico also is a bad example for other Latin American countries."
While legal abortions in very limited cases such as rape and incest occur in various parts of the country, Mexico largely prohibits abortions — and the measure is the first step in overturning those laws.
Aided by abortion advocates in the United States, members of the left-wing political party have also proposed a bill in the Mexico Congress to legalize abortion. However, that legislation isn’t expected to be approved and President Felipe Calderon would likely veto it.
Even if Mayor Marcelo Ebrard signs the measure, Armando Martinez, president of the College of Catholic Lawyers, plans to pursue a lawsuit against it and take it to the nation’s Supreme Court if necessary. He says the bill contradicts the Mexican Constitution, which guarantees the right to life of all people.
Mariana Gómez del Campo, the PAN leader in the city’s legislature, said the political party would support such a lawsuit in the event any bill to legalize abortion is approved.
The decision to approve the abortion bill goes against the wishes of a majority of Mexicans.
The polling firm Parametría surveyed 1,200 Mexican adults from March 24 to 27.
It found that 51.3 percent of those polled opposed legalizing abortion while only 30 percent of Mexicans favor legalizing abortion. The rest are undecided.
The polling firm Consulta Mitofsky conducted a previous survey in January and released the results of the poll last month. It showed similar results as only 32.1 percent of those polled said they agreed with abortion.
Breaking the results down by political party, only 30 percent of people who side with the conservative National Action Party (PAN) agree with abortion while just 28.7 percent of those who identify themselves as members of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) back abortion.
The numbers are important because the PRD party is behind both abortion bills.
Saying he would likely veto the Measure in the Mexican Congress, President Calderon said “I have a personal conviction, and I am in defense of life. I have a plain respect for dignity and human life and within this I believe the existing legislation is adequate.”
First lady Margarita Zavala, opposed the legal d the measure in a speech before the vote.
"It’s possible to see heart, lungs and head and arms after a boy or girl has been in the mother’s womb for 12 weeks," Zavala, a mother of three, told pro-life advocates.
Meanwhile, Marcelino Hernandez, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Mexico, has warned legislators that if they vote for the proposed bill, they would be excommunicated upon the first abortion.
Related web sites:
Comite Nacional Pro Vida – https://www.comiteprovida.org