Mexico’s Historic Step Toward Legalizing Abortion

A landmark court ruling gave Mexicans greater rights to the procedure than Texans now have, but opponents have vowed to reverse the decision.

By Stephania Taladrid
October 28, 2021

On September 6th, Laura Hernández turned on her TV and began to record an event that she had waited for years to witness: the Mexican Supreme Court’s ruling on whether the criminalization of abortion was constitutional. A psychologist by training and a native of the northern state of Coahuila, Hernández is the co-founder of Acompañantes Laguna, a network of volunteers that has helped thousands of people obtain abortions over the years. Until recently, Coahuila, which borders Texas, had stringent prohibitions on abortion. Under a law passed in 2017, people could face between one and three years in prison for ending their pregnancy. The state, one of the country’s wealthiest, also has some of the highest teen-age-pregnancy rates in Mexico, which ranks first among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in that criterion. It was in Coahuila that the case considered by the Supreme Court originated four years ago.


“Green Tide” Reaches Mexico as Oaxaca Decriminalizes Abortion

“Green Tide” Reaches Mexico as Oaxaca Decriminalizes Abortion
Oaxaca's monumental decision last week to decriminalize abortion is part of a larger "Green Tide" movement across Latin America.

October 3, 2019
Cecilia Nowell

The chambers of the state legislature in Oaxaca, Mexico, exploded with shouts of joy and rage September 25 as the region voted to decriminalize first-trimester abortions in a 24-10 vote. In the gallery, Catholic protesters chanted, “Assassins! Assassins!” while awaiting the vote. But when the decision was announced, feminist activists, clad in the green bandanas that have become the symbol of the Latin American pro-abortion movement, broke out in shouts of “Latin America will be entirely feminist.”

The vote exemplified the division between Mexicos deep Catholic, traditionally anti-abortion roots and its growing feminist movements. This tension was on full display in the chambers. Feminist activist Patricia Matus was one of the women celebrating in the legislature when the vote was announced. “The environment was horrible,” she said, describing pro-life demonstrators holding mass outside the state building, a verbal argument between male and female representatives that nearly delayed the vote, and shouting in the gallery.


‘We have made history’: Mexico’s Oaxaca state decriminalises abo

'We have made history': Mexico's Oaxaca state decriminalises abortion
Lawmakers voted to scrap restrictions on abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in a win for reproductive rights advocates

David Agren
Thu 26 Sep 2019

Women’s rights activists in Mexico are celebrating after the southern state of Oaxaca decriminalised abortion in a move that they hope signals broader reforms to ensure reproductive rights in what is still a conservative and deeply Catholic country.

Lawmakers voted 24-10 on Wednesday to scrap restrictions on abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, despite vocal opposition from the Catholic church. Opponents – including priests and the religious – screamed “killers!” at the lawmakers as the vote occurred, while women in the green handkerchiefs of the pro-choice movement chanted, “Yes we can!”


New Study Examines Characteristics of Women Seeking Abortion in Mexico City

New Study Examines Characteristics of Women Seeking Abortion in Mexico City

Guttmacher Institute
Dec 18, 2018

Women who come from outside of Mexico City to obtain legal abortions are better educated, on average, than abortion seekers residing in the city and, to an even greater extent, than the residents of the communities from which they come. According to “Education, Place of Residence and Utilization of Legal Abortion Services in Mexico City, 2013–2015,” by Leigh Senderowicz and Ana Langer of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Patricio Sanhueza of Mexico City’s Secretariat of Health, these differences likely reflect that women who are more educated are in a better position to make the journey to obtain the abortion services they need.


MEXICO – Mexico’s new government seeks abortion on request up to 12 weeks across the country

MEXICO – Mexico’s new government seeks abortion on request up to 12 weeks across the country

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 13, 2018

The new government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador will seek to decriminalise abortion throughout Mexico. The future Interior Minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, recognising that this is a topic that polarises the country, will seek a permanent dialogue with the 32 state congresses on this issue. In an interview with Radio Fórmula in July, the ex-Supreme Court judge explained that she supports abortion up to 12 weeks because she believes that women “should not be deprived of their freedom”.

In 2007, Mexico City legalised abortion up to 12 weeks of gestation, which Sánchez Cordero wants to propose to the whole country.

On 1 December, Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party, the Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Movement for National Regeneration), will take control of 22 state congresses. López Obrador has stressed that the greatest challenge for the country is to end the wave of violence that caused 25,339 murders last year.

However, 18 of Mexico’s 32 states have laws that give legal protection to the fetus from conception, some passed directly in response to Mexico City’s law reform, while in the rest there are disparate laws that allow only two to five grounds for abortion. Olga Sánchez Cordero has her work cut out for her, and we wish the best in it!

SOURCE: El Nuevo Diario, 12 July 2018 ; PHOTO: Efe

The Law, Trials and Imprisonment for Abortion in Mexico

The Law, Trials and Imprisonment for Abortion in Mexico
2 May 2017
A comprehensive summary of abortion law and punishment in Mexico
by Hannah Pearson

“Confess, you have committed the worst sin in the world” (, 2016)

When Patricia Mendez, a 21-year-old university student from Veracruz state, miscarried in March 2015, police were called into the hospital ward to watch as she writhed in pain and expelled a dead 20-week fetus. “I was naked, with just the robe they give you, and I had all of them around as I miscarried”, Patricia recounted. “I was in a lot of pain, but nobody did anything. They just said ‘Confess, you have committed the worst sin the world’”. “They treated me worse than an animal. I felt as if I could have died there and nobody would have done anything”, Patricia said of her treatment as she miscarried. [1] Patricia was then made to sign some papers, while a nurse held the fetus to her face and said "Kiss him. You have killed him". Patricia’s ex-boyfriend’s family held a funeral for the fetus, which they forced her to attend.

Continued at link: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion:

Abortion ship sailed outside Mexican territorial waters for second time.

Abortion ship sailed outside Mexican territorial waters for second time.

April 23, 2017

For immediate release April 22, 2017: Women on Waves sailed out again with several women to international waters today from Zihuatanejo, Mexico. There was no interference from the authorities. The ship did not need any special permission for coastal sailing.

The last 2 days 70 women from all over Mexico called the safe abortion hotline. We received calls from Quintana Roo to Oaxaca with of women needing abortions because of a variety of reasons, including failure on their contraceptives, out the fact that they had been raped and are too afraid to reach out for legal local health services (abortion is legal in cases sexual violence in all states).

Continued at Source: Women on Waves: