Mexico's Supreme Court Mexico's Supreme Court: not so socially conservative.

Conservative Mexico leads on many issues

An indifference to dogma sets forward-looking Mexican society apart

The hospital of my birth – Mercy Medical Center in Redding, California – has denied post-partum tubal ligations to more than 50 patients over the last eight years. Against the wishes of both doctors and patients.

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As one might guess, this policy of not providing “sterilization services” follows the guidelines issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops prohibiting medical procedures which are “intrinsically immoral.” No, that isn’t a typo.

Forget for the moment the controversy over abortion (which at least one California legislator believes caused the current drought). Catholic bishops in the U.S., in a bizarre case of casuistry, believe that having unwanted babies is morally superior to birth control. (Not dissimilarly in much of the developing world Catholic bishops believe that HIV is preferable to the use of condoms.)

Of course an American Civil Liberties Union-sponsored lawsuit is in the works against Mercy Medical Center and its misguided religious benefactors. The defendants will lose in the San Francisco Federal District Court, and I don’t expect them to get much sympathy from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals either.

An incalculable waste of time and money in the defense of a Bronze Age morality of illiterate desert nomads.

Be that as it may, this case got me thinking about my adopted home country of Mexico. Having studied the works of Paz, Guzmán, Villalobos and Michener among many others, and now with over a decade as an expatriate under my belt, it does seem a bit strange how far ahead culturally conservative Mexico is on social and health issues.

Mexico encompasses such a complex amalgam of ideas and attitudes that almost any general statement about Mexican society is bound to be wrong – exceptions perforating any thesis before it can even be memorialized. But a close look at empirical studies, historical fact and polling data can be illustrative of a culture that values pragmatism above ideology. (If Benjamin Franklin were alive he would surely be a Mexicophile).

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Our very Catholic doctor at our very Catholic hospital here in Chihuahua performed a tubal ligation on my wife after the delivery via C-section of our second child. No fuss. No hand-wringing. No prayers and no counseling. No genital mutilation of our beautiful baby boy either.

Why? Because Mexico can’t afford the luxury of dogma and fundamentalism. Small families live better.

Mexico is an extraordinarily homogeneous country. And homogeneous countries tend to be both insular and culturally conservative. A 2012 study by the Journal of Human Genetics confirmed that 93% of the population is mestizo. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion with 82.7% of the population adhering, at least nominally, to the faith.

Yet, as byzantine as the Mexican legal system is, the Supreme Court has granted the right of gay couples to challenge state laws banning same-sex marriage, and ruled that the use of cannabis is a fundamental human right.

Despite this, two-thirds of the population are against decriminalizing marijuana, 44% oppose same-sex marriage and polling suggests that 70% of Mexicans disapprove of body art such as tattoos. Yet these opinions don’t translate into public policy.

What gives?

The answer is easy: a beautiful indifference to dogma.

Opinions are, after all, like assholes – everybody has one, and Mexicans realize the ephemerality of opinion. While you might notice mass protests against endemic political corruption and violence, you won’t see many protests outside abortion clinics or the coopting of school districts to teach creation “science.”

Indeed the Catholic church has adopted evolution by natural selection as a scientific fact (for the scientifically literate the use of the word “theory” is still employed as it is with the “theory” of gravitation).

Sure, silly debates about when the human soul entered the evolutionary picture are still had behind Vatican walls, but Mexico marches on, apathetic to the sophistic musings of elderly virgins.

On New Year’s Day we took a family road trip through the deserted back roads in the state of Chihuahua. Two locations stood out to me. One was the Cueva de Comanche where pre-hispanic petroglyphs, having survived five millennia, can still be seen. The other was the Misión de Santa María de Cuevas constructed in 1671.

Both were fascinating and instructive on many levels. And both have been rightfully relegated to the distant past of the belief in the supernatural. If you can, you should visit them. They should be preserved for posterity.

But they are not the future. They are the past. Mexicans realize this. Too many Americans, though, do not.

Much has changed since the fertile mind of Octavio Paz constructed his Labyrinth of Solitude. Traditionally backward-looking Mexican society evolved to become forward-looking. American society has in many ways, and by many turns, regressed. We increasingly look to the pre-literate world of our ancestors for answers that are more easily and more accurately answerable by science.

We are, as it is, at an historical crossroads between history, culture, science and geopolitics. This intersection is confusing and congested. There are so many choices on which way to go. Following the hopelessly long and winding road back to some non-existent Norman Rockwell America seems to me like a poor choice – sleepwalking toward a sunless sea.

There is, of course, a place for personal beliefs. There are some 320,000 churches in the U.S., 100,000 in Mexico, and countless private homes where families can practice their comforting religious rituals.

Opening up the public sector – whether hospitals or schools – to dogma, is at best a bad option. Mexicans intuitively recognize this.

Overwhelmingly Catholic and underwhelmingly devout, Mexican Catholics have placed their religious beliefs on the shelf of cultural patrimony where it properly belongs, far from the table of public policy.

Glen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a regular contributor to Mexico News Daily.

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  • PintorEnMexico

    Oh boy, Glen, this will likely be the most commented on article since MND went Discus. Batten down the hatches, there’s a storm coming. I’m in violent agreement with most everything here, especially this line: “An incredible waste of time and money in defense of a Bronze Age morality of illiterate desert nomads.” While I love the sentiment, I suspect a significant number of the authors of the texts of the big 3 religions were not nomads, living in settlements, and could write, else where did the texts come from? Sure there’s a lot of oral tradition there, but some of those fantasies were put to parchment a very long time ago.

    Paz wrote about the role of criticism in the origins of the two countries. Catholic Spain, ever the inquisitors, passed onto Mexico a conservative tradition obviously hostile to change or critique. Protestant England sired a nation rich with critique, change, and reformation. After Franco, Spain shucked its Catholic straight jacket and I suspect Mexico, while loath to credit them, is following suit.

    But I still have hope that the US will eventually get past this phase where the Republicans since Nixon have been tricking the Southern states into voting against their economic interests by turning everything into culture wars and race baiting. They are eating their own young and won’t last against the multicultural diversity and changing demographics of age and race. Witness the conservative SCOTUS upholding same-sex marriage, and more-socialized medicine. The state-by-state legalization of marijuana. Hope is a good drug, almost as good as pot.

    • Happygirl

      I agree with the writer’s statement with regard to the three major religions being that of “Bronze Age morality of illiterate desert nomads” . The ancient texts were written by the educated priestly class with their bronze age illiterate brethren in mind…after all religion was a method to control the masses (through religious laws) and to explain the unexplainable in a time before science. The writers of the holy texts did no know of the existence of North America, the Arctic Circle, dinosaurs, of DNA, black holes, how our bodies function and how disease is spread…the list goes on and on. Yet humanity today still holds onto these texts as the truth..it is so sad.

      • Richlittle

        As I often do, I agree with Glen as well. In fact, I agree with most everything he proposes here, as it has been my experience as well. Looking at demographics in Mexico, as well as amerika, it is important to separate people in cities from peoples in the peublas, etc. Now, as never before, there are more people in the cities with higher levels of education and they are people who want to be freed from the past. As well, many in the pueblas have internet and are finding their way to new patterns of thinking while leaving the dogma of their families behind. At the moment, and it may not last (as in amerika, here the elites have their own agendas), I believe Mexico is moving forward while amerika is being led to believe (by these same types of elites), that they should be looking backward for their salvation and laws, because that fits their political agendas. Importantly, however, this is what is portrayed by the MSM, not necessarily the beliefs of the majority! At this moment in time, I hold no hope for that country at all, while I do hold some hope for Mexico. If the youth of Mexico want change badly enough, they’ll get it; and it appears they do.

    • Glen Olives

      Well, I’m the worst judge of what op-eds will draw the most attention and commentary. As benign as I thought it was, my piece last year on Mexican happiness went semi-viral and was re-posted on various sites much to my surprise. I suspect because the headline suggested the usual cultural differences based on Mexican family versus American materialism but I took a decidedly economic tact. Be that as it may, I don’t expect much more comment from the current piece. Other than that observation, I’m in agreement with your other comments. By the way, are you a painter?

      • PintorEnMexico

        Yes, that was a good one. If this piece stays on the front page a while longer, it should do well. Yes I am a pintor in Mexio! B-)

  • Güerito

    Based on the public opinion data from Mexico (cited above), it sounds like the unelected judiciary is pushing Mexican public policy in a direction contrary to the views held by Mexican citizens. So this “forward looking Mexican society” amounts to a tiny fraction at the top.

    This is exactly what’s been going on in the US for more than a generation. The difference is that it’s been going on so long in the US, many citizens are now aware of it (had their “consciousness raised,” so to speak) and there’s an organized resistance to this rule by the elites.

    • “Judicial fiat” ??? That’s actually called legal interpretation and is the job of the high court. By comparison, the US Supreme Court conservative majority frequently opts to not think outside bounds of their 21st century interpretation of 18th century thinking to some how divine “original intent” … a theoretical cop-out for that allows pretty much all interpretation of law to harken back to the day of white, male, straight dominance in all matters, thus maintaining those privileges.

      And remember too that human rights are not subject to local vote. The legalization or the illegalization (as the case may be) of abortion, marriage equality, marijuana, or other issues viewed by the legal experts as matters of human rights, cannot be subject to popular votes, though they frequently are in the United States. Subjecting the matter of human rights to a popular vote is the “tyranny of the majority” politically speaking.

      To use an example of the popularity of a leading GOP candidate, Trump may advocate barring Muslims from immigrating to the US. If this were put to a popular vote, Muslims make up about 1% of the US population. It would be very difficult for this minority to overcome Islamophobic pressures to persuade 99% of the US population to vote against such a proposal. If the US Supreme Court did it’s job, it would bar the vote from taking place, or at the very least bar any implementation of such a law. While on the surface that might seem undemocratic, what it is is rule of law; the First Amendment freedom of religion should bar any demagogic abuse that would infringe upon the human right of freedom of religion.

      An elected body can hardly be used to keep abuses of democracy in check. The US and Mexico are by their own legal documents countries bound by law. So, yes, unelected judiciaries of legal scholars are the best defense against demagoguery and other abuses of democracy.

      • Güerito

        I like that “issues viewed by the legal experts as matters of human rights.” In one of my past lives I was one of those “legal experts.” Believe me, they’re making it up as they go along.

        I’ll take nine random citizens picked off the street over the US Supreme Court or any Supreme Court. At least some of the nine random citizens might have some common sense, something completely lacking in our judicial elites, who tend to worship the dogma put out by the latest quack con law professor in some obscure Law Review no one but them reads.

        Look, Glen wrote a column about how Mexican society, in general, is forward looking. But the two examples he cites involve decisions by the Mexican Supreme Court. His own data shows these decisions are at odds with Mexican public opinion, i.e., Mexican society. That simple.

        • Glen Olives

          You’re an educated guy, Guerito. Surely you wouldn’t prefer 9 people plucked on the street interpreting constitutions based on their common sense. You’d likely get a majority who think that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, the use of certain plants by individual adults should come with harsh prison sentences (or death in many countries), homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, and tubal ligations to prevent unwanted pregnancies are “intrinsically evil”, etc. Yes, progressive Mexican (and US) Supreme Court decisions often do not comport with public opinion. But where are the Mexican terrorist attacks on abortion clinics? Where are the massive protests against drug legalization, or businesses refusing services to gays, or public hospitals refusing reproductive health care services to women? And therein lies the point — there’s an enormous difference between US and Mexican society regarding the imposition of private beliefs on the exercise public policies. There’s a marked tendency in the US for people of religious conviction to impose their beliefs on the public who do not share them. If you’re a woman who believes that a tubal ligation is evil, don’t get one. If you think that god hates fags, don’t engage in homosexual activity. In my view it’s hardly more complicated than that.

    • As to your concern about raising the Mexican minimum wage, there is a legal remedy for that. The Mexican court needs a case concerning that wage. Then they merely need to view their own Constitution, specifically Article 123 that states “the minimum wage … should be sufficient to meet the normal needs of the head of the family, in material, social, and cultural terms, and to provide obligatory education for the children.”

      Economist may argue what that exact figure is, but it is substantially higher than the current 70 pesos a day. If the work week is 5 days, then there are about 22 work days a month (22 days x 70 pesos = 1540 peso per month). If the work week is 6 days, then there are about 26 work days a month (26 days x 70 pesos = 1820 peso per month).

      Since the Mexican Constitution starts with end result (“sufficient to meet the normal needs”), a minimum out come should be the starting point. The average Mexican family (nuclear family) is about 4 people. What quantity of money would allow a head of the family meet the normal needs (housing, food, health care, education, transportation, utilities)? Maybe 10,000 pesos a month (yes, one could argue more or less, but that’s a reasonable figure). So then the adult Mexican minimum wage would need to allow the head of the family to meet those constitutional obligations. 10,000 pesos per month divided by the number of days working would render the daily wage required to reach that. Using the 6 days a week model, that would require a minimum wage of 385 pesos a day, an over 500% increase in the wage to meet this Constitutional requirement.

    • Glen Olives

      One man’s judicial fiat is another man’s upholding of constitutional principles regardless of popular support. As to the legalization of marijuana, more amparo petitions are in the works, and I’m predicting that it will become legal nationwide (as opposed to piecemeal as it is in the US) in 2016 or 2017.

      • PintorEnMexico

        I’ll smoke to that!!

    • SeaHawk68

      I have been sending letters to stores like Ley a huge market chain owned 50 percent by Safeway and 50 percent by a private Mexican citizen of Chinese descent. This is one of lowest paying supermarkets and shame on Safeway with all of its income not wanting to upgrade the wages of very professional workers in Mexico. I did not realize how greedy they were until one of grandsons (17 years of age) started working for them and I was shocked at the lowest salary for a job that is semi-professional. He was completely fluent in Spanish and English and yet the paid him like a pauper. The governing rulers of Mexico who in part are probably globalists do not want Mexico to excel and succeed. Mexico has the technology, but they want to keep them on ground level with low pay. If they just raised the minimum wage, there would be no need for them to go the USA which at present seems to be hostile to the Hispanics. Most of the time it is like fiesta time in Mexico, but these low wages is what drives them to the North.

  • iskinder

    Oh, boy! Some Americans can live for decadas, their whole lives, in Mexico without understanding what is really going on iin the country, its “extraordinarly homogenous” society, and their “genetics”…. Hard to believe.

    • SeaHawk68

      You are correct. I am part of a team that is teaching Spanish to Americans and Canadians who have lived in Mexico more than ten years and are just waking up to the fact that they don’t really know the people of the country where they live. We have a campaign going to awaken their interest.

  • kallen

    Where to begin! I’ve been spending my winters in Mexico for the last ten plus years and I have yet to meet a forward looking Mexican. I guess they’re all in the places I’m not! “If Benjamin Franklin were alive he would surely be a Mexicophile” – Nah, don’t think so. “Supreme Court has granted the right of gay couples to challenge state laws banning same-sex marriage” – maybe, but they found a gay gay swinging from a bridge outside of town last year. The Mexican Supreme Court may grant this and that but that doesn’t mean the population is tolerant (or forward looking). 87% of population is Roman Catholic. Only 68% believe in God in the US. I’d say atheism is the biggest indicator of “forward looking”. The evangelical wack-jobs in the US are just more salient and get all the attention.

  • Gay couples who encounter a bakery that objects to homosexuality have other options. Just go to one of the numerous bakeries that do not care about gay marriage. Suing the first bakery into bankruptcy is not nice.

    Similarly, if you want a tubal ligation, go to a medical center that will do it. Not difficult to find. Do not get your panties in a twist because a religious organization that runs a medical center will not do it. It is not nice.

    There are other options.

    • PintorEnMexico

      Of all places, Utah seems to have come up with a decent compromise in the bakery debate, this from the Economist:

      For a crafty solution to this puzzle, look no further than Utah. In March the state passed a law that
      banned workplace and housing discrimination against gays and lesbians
      while protecting the expression of religious conscience. The legislation
      was the result of patient cooperation between gay-rights activists and
      the Mormon church, without whose support the law would have been doomed.
      It is now illegal in Utah fire someone for being gay, but also illegal
      to fire someone for expressing religious opposition to gay marriage. The
      law specifies certain narrow exemptions from the new housing and
      employment regulations for religious groups. Perhaps most significantly,
      public-accommodations protections weren’t taken up at all, and it
      remains legal for Utah businesses to deny service on the basis of sexual
      orientation. That may seem objectionable, but robust legal protection
      against discrimination in housing and employment for tens of thousands
      of LGBT Utahns is a great deal better than nothing. Troy Williams, the
      executive director of Equality Utah, a gay-rights group, praised the law,
      saying that it “proves that protections for gay and transgender people
      in housing and the workplace can gracefully coexist with the rights of
      people of faith. One does not exist at the expense of the other”.

      On the issue of tubal ligation, my prayers (kidding) are offered on the side of the ACLU… It happens occasionally that a tubal ligation is medically necessary after complicated pregnancy and delivery. It’s a major inconvenience to go to another provider, when the optimal time to perform one is right after delivery.

      • Sounds like an excellent compromise, not something the gay “community” is known for, to state it mildly.

        As for the tubal ligation thing, I’ve never heard of its being medically necessary after a complicated pregnancy. Not to say it does not happen. I believe you, but I wager it’s quite rare. Perhaps a religious hospital might consider a compromise when such a thing happens. Compromise is good.

        Another option is that nonreligious people could simply choose a different sort of hospital from the get-go.

        • PintorEnMexico

          Utah, Mormons, and the conservative religious community aren’t known for it either. Something to celebrate. I know because I used to be a Mormon living in Utah, now an atheist in Mexico.

          Re tubes, at your leisure: http://jezebel.com/catholic-hospital-denies-pregnant-woman-life-saving-tub-1730775971

        • bushwah

          I am very late to this party, but I think it’s important to clarify what you are not getting.

          People in the US are often tied to providers by their insurance or HMO coverage. They have to use the doctor, hospital, etc., that they are covered for. Sometimes, the only hospital available to them is an RC hospital. This is particularly true since over the last decade and more, the RC church and its outgrowths have been buying up community hospitals all over the US, sometimes leaving a community with no public or non-religious hospital.

          What the RC church should consider is serving its clientele based on their medical needs and wishes, not based on its dogma. Which, by the way, does not apply to anyone who is not a member of that outfit. No god ever told any RCer or other Christian to control anyone else’s life.

          If a medical provider, by which I mean an individual, has “conscientious” objections to doing their job, i.e. to abiding by the professional ethics of the profession they have chosen and providing the medically appropriate treatment to a patient, they should find another job, and should be told to do just that if they don’t do it voluntarily. Society grants these people the privilege of being exclusively entitled to practise medicine, on the condition that they abide by the rules that govern the profession. Refusing sexual/reproductive health care is absolutely no different from refusing treatment for any other medical condition.

          Corporations and foundations and other bodies corporate do not have consciences or religions.

          Your cavalier “nonreligious people could simply choose a different sort of hospital from the get-go” is no different from saying that black people should choose another restaurant or apartment building or employer. And ditto in the case of gay couples simply wanting to buy wedding cakes.

          Of course, the fact is that RCers in the US are no more likely to adhere to their church’s dogma when it comes to contraception and abortion than any other segment of the population is, just fyi.

    • Glen Olives

      The problem of course is that Mercy is a public hospital receiving public funds open to the public and the only one in Redding providing maternity and birthing services. The case presents not only a 1st Amendment problem, but also a state statute problem — health care providers cannot refuse medical care unless based on medicine or law. Apparently the state legislature thought better of including religious convictions.

      • Good points.

      • Güerito

        Ruling in Thursday: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ordering a Catholic hospital in California to perform a tubal ligation sterilization procedure on a woman would violate its religious freedom, a San Francisco judge ruled Thursday.

        “Religious-based hospitals have an enshrined place in American history and its communities, and the religious beliefs reflected in their operation are not to be interfered with by courts at this moment in history,” Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith said while finalizing his previous tentative ruling.

        http://bigstory.ap.org/article/900428e594a3494c9c52e19a40c65288/california-tubal-ligation-fight-heads-court-thursday

        This is a case brought in state court, with a state judge ruling, though. Is there a separate case going on in US Federal District Court, that you’re referring to above? Federal statutory law has made it so that the state funding issue is not as determinative as it once was, right?

        • Glen Olives

          As I clarified earlier, this is a state court case. As far as I’m aware, there is no current federal case based on constitutional grounds. Will there be an appeal? Surely. Will California’s 3rd District Court of Appeals be sympathetic to the trial court’s ruling? Possible, but not likely. Be that as it may, will the loser appeal to the California Supreme Court? Almost assuredly. Will a cross-jurisdictional claim be made in federal court? Likely. Where the case(s) go(es) from there is anyone’s guess. When stripped of the legalistic nuances of constitutional interpretation, the ultimate issue must come down to whether America is a democratic republic or a theocracy. If the latter, Mercy Hospital can perform or not perform medical procedures consistent with its dogma at its pleasure. If the former, and if it avails itself to public funding, it must accept the fact that it cannot have its cake and eat it too.

  • Econo facts

    The United States is a mess, Glenn. It continues to degenerate largely due to a horrid education
    system plagued by the politicized embracement of “science.” Fully 72% of the population cannot balance a checkbook. Many college graduates cannot really read or write. Young Mexican professionals are returning to Mexico in droves due to the high cost of living and “direction” of the US. Let’s look at a simple fact. Mexico embraces faith and family and this economy is growing. The US seems to have thrown out faith and family for “science” and is dying. I think I will stay in Mexico embracing faith and family. Seems common sense still is appreciated here. Good article!

    • PintorEnMexico

      The computer you used to post your spurious reasoning was not plucked from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. You have it as the result of, wait for it,…science. When a member of your dear family is really sick or injured do you only pray for them or do you also reach out for medical interventions which were made possible by, wait for it,…science? When you go north to visit your dear family do you walk, ride a mule, push a cart, or do you fly in aircraft made possible by, wait for it,…science. Reducing complex social problems to “faith and family” calls into question the quality of your education. Why wouldn’t a Mexican professional want to return to the country of their birth if the economy can provide a place to apply their education and skills? Why would they want to remain in an increasingly racist country that celebrates the likes of Trump? Ugh, reason is useless.

    • Garry Montgomery

      Do you really believe Mexico “embraces” faith? Sure, probably 90% of Mexicans cross themselves every time they pass a church but that’s not “faith” it’s inculcation. Faith is secondary to reason in Mexico and Mexican education makes the citizens more reasonable than U.S-ans.

    • SeaHawk68

      I am glad to hear that. Education in Mexico is so much more reasonable, but the publicity for the USA is constant and it sounds like a Utopia to everyone who watches commercials, sees American movies, etc. I believe a Mexican who applies himself or herself and finishes high school has great opportunities, plus all university students now have to pass an English fluency test otherwise they won’t get their degree. So this is a plus because they are becoming bilingual.

  • Dan Tucker

    Wow, another great article, Glen. Your understanding of the Mexican culture is very informative. I continue to learn more and more of this culture and am more and more happy to be a ¨permanent resident¨ here. A lot of the content of the comments here are superior to my intellectual ability, but are also excellent reading and a challenge to learn more. However, I do miss the comments of James Smith. Do you know what has happened to him/her? One argument I have heard pro-lifers use is there is no such thing as an ¨unwanted baby.¨ Many people are unable to have children and thus adoption is a much better alternative to abortion. I tend to agree. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

  • Garry Montgomery

    Thank god! A rational religious discussion . . . . in, of all places Catholic Mexico. The U.S. needs to look South for tips on so many necessary things, not the least being socialized health care.

  • Glen Olives

    Correction: the civil complaint and injunction were filed in the California Superior Court for the County of San Francisco, not Federal District Court. My apologies.

  • Güerito

    What do we do with this case? Gay Mexican wins immigration case in US based on homofobia in Mexico. LOL

    “José Crespo-Cagnant, a Mexican immigrant deported after illegally crossing the border, is now back in the United States and on his way to becoming a permanent resident after winning a long legal battle in Miami federal court, according to his immigration lawyer.

    Crespo-Cagnant, 36, won the case because his attorney demonstrated that immigration officials had failed to consider her client’s plea not to be returned to Mexico for fear of persecution because he is gay.”

    “Gay Mexican immigrant wins federal court case, can remain in Miami.”

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/gay-south-florida/article51041660.html

  • Güerito

    The state legislature in Veracruz just passed an amendment to the state constitution outlawing abortions from the moment of conception. It passed 39-6, with even members of PRD voting for it.

    I think we didn’t hear too much about abortion in Mexico because it was pretty much illegal everywhere, and most Mexicans agreed with the laws. As some more liberal jurisdictions (like Mexico City) begin to move towards legalizing abortion, I would expect you’ll hear more about the issue:

    “Congreso de Veracruz aprueba vía fast track reforma antiaborto enviada por Javier Duarte”

    http://www.sinembargo.mx/21-01-2016/1603954

  • SeaHawk68

    I too have adopted Mexico as my second home and I am glad for your more accurate eyewitness account of Mexico. I get tired of hearing so much misinformation by journalists who write on assumptions, second opinions and misinformation–it gets me nauseated. Mexicans/Americans of Mexican descent who were raised in the USA whether their parents are from Mexico or not for several generations are so far from the mindset of a Mexican whose culture truly is Mexican are as different as night or day. Sometimes an old 8 cylinder car that looks like a land boat goes past my house and one of daughters who lives in the USA was startled by the appearance and she thought we were going to have a driveby shooting. I gently tell her. This guy that you just saw drive by is an albañil (bricklayer, plasterer, etc.) and his car is all that he can afford. He is harmless and is a protector of our home. The people in my neighborhood really protect your home and belongings if you are trustworthy friend. So thank you for maintaining the right perspective. Whenever I have a chance I like to write about the real Mexico that most people never hear about. People like to hear about narco-traficantes and about the dysfunctional families, and they really don’t like to hear about the successful Mexico which many of neighbors are all about. About 50 percent of the children who live in my colonia in Sonora, have finished high school and are attending the many universities found in this State. This State provides uniforms and shoes for all the children in every community. They also provide becas scholarships for the children who maintain a 9-10 average beginning in Primaria (elementary school). These children receive $5,000 (close to $300 US dollars) pesos a semester to be applied to their educational needs. This is a very provocative incentive, and something that most foreigners will never know about. Most young girls have not lost their natural affection for children and despite the fact that there are a growing amount of liberated young women who feel they have a right to abort their fetus, the majority still have a deep respect for their family, God and babies. In our State there also is a large presence of Evangelical Christians who make up a significant part of the Mexican population. And even if the Roman Catholic population is larger , the Catholics have a deep respect for the Word of God and most do not reject other Christians of a different sect when they share their beliefs.

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