One of Mexico's poorest states decriminalises abortion

A woman and child watch the rain petition ritual in the San Francisco neighborhood, Guerrero, Mexico, on May 5, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Mexico's southern state of Guerrero on Tuesday (May 17) decriminalised abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, becoming the eighth region in the conservative Latin American country to do so.

The state legislature said the reform, which was promoted by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Morena party, was approved by 30 votes in favour and 13 against.

Guerrero is among the poorest of Mexico's 32 states and women in some communities are forced to marry and become mothers from a young age.

The state, plagued by violence linked to drug trafficking, also has high rates of rape of women and deaths from clandestine abortions, according to local legislator Beatriz Mojica.

"Many of the women who are raped are girls and are forced to continue their pregnancy," she told Milenio television.

"It's important to guarantee the poorest women access" to safe abortion, Mojica added.

Abortion has also been decriminalised in Mexico City and the states of Oaxaca, Baja California, Sonora, Colima, Veracruz and Hidalgo.

Earlier this month around 2,000 people marched in the Mexican capital to demand the right to legal abortion be revoked, at the encouragement of the Catholic church and conservative groups.

In September 2021, the Supreme Court declared the laws criminalising abortion unconstitutional, authorising it de facto throughout the country.

That ruling allows women who live in states where abortion is still forbidden to file a legal recourse so that health institutions perform an abortion on them.

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