Oaxaca lawmakers on Wednesdsay approved removing criminal penalties for abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Cries of “Murderers!” and “Yes we can!” were heard as the results were announced in the Chamber of Deputies. Of Oaxaca’s 42 deputies, 24 voted in favor of the law, 12 voted against it and six abstained.
Abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy will remain illegal and punishable by three to six months in prison or 100 to 300 days of community service. The same punishment can be applied to anyone who provides an abortion to a woman with her consent, while those who cause an abortion without a woman’s consent face between three and 10 years in prison.
“We made history for dignity, the right to life and the rights of women in Oaxaca,” said Deputy Magaly López of the Morena party.
López also noted that no one is in favor of abortion, and legalizing the practice is a measure to protect women who see themselves obligated to end their pregnancies.
Complications from illegal abortions are the third cause of death in Oaxaca, according to official statistics.
Oaxaca joins Mexico City to become the second state to decriminalize abortion for any reason. Some other states allow abortion in cases of rape or to protect the life of the mother.