Mexico City’s New Abortion Law Heads to the Nation’s Supreme Court
by Steven Ertelt
May 29, 2007
Mexico City, Mexico (LifeNews.com) — Mexico’s attorney general is helping to spearhead a legal effort to get the new law the capital city’s legislature passed legalizing abortions overturned. The law, which applies only in the Mexico capital while abortions are prohibited in the rest of the nation, allows abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy for any reason.
The office of Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora along with the National Human Right’s Commission filed paperwork with the nation’s Supreme Court to attempt to overturn the vote.
They said the new abortion law goes against the nation’s constitution, which offers legal protection for unborn children and acknowledges their right to life. More said the Supreme Court has already sided with the government’s position in previous cases and is hopeful for a favorable ruling this time.
There are eleven judges on the Mexico high court and seven of them must vote with the government for the abortion law to be overturned.
The court is expected to rule in the next few weeks on whether or not it will take the case.
So far, there have been 180 legal abortions in Mexico City since the new law took effect and Mexico City Health Secretary Manuel Mandragon told AP that about 10 percent of the people having the abortions were teenagers. About 80 percent were Catholic.
President Felipe Calderon, of the conservative National Action Party, has spoken out against the abortion law and taken a pro-life position but members of the Democratic Revolution Party, which controls the capital city’s legislative assembly and voted for the law, vowed to defend it.
"It’s a political maneuver to satisfy a certain public opinion over this law," Mexico City’s leftist mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, told AP about the lawsuit to overturn the measure. "But legally, it’s got no base."
Under the law, city-run health clinics must do abortions for poor women and those on the city’s health insurance program.
Some pro-life groups have responded by saying they will use civil disobedience to keep abortions from being done, but others are looking to education and information to persuade women to keep their babies.
Jose Antonio Fernandez of the organization Dignidad Ciudadana told the newspaper La Jornada that the coalition of groups will soon begin a radio and television campaign.
The effort will "warn young people about the risks of the practice of abortion, and they will put in motion a support system for women who are in danger of having abortions," he said.