A violent pro-abortion protest in Mexico City was linked to “conservative feminists” by President López Obrador at his morning news press conference Wednesday.
Hooded female protesters demanding the total legalization of abortion and free access to it left 27 police, a female civil servant and nine other people injured in the city center Tuesday.
The Supreme Court (SCJN) effectively decriminalized abortion across Mexico in September. However, outside cases of rape and risks to the mother’s life, abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is currently only legal in four states: Mexico City, Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Veracruz.
Despite the high political sensitivity which accompanies the abortion debate, the president hinted at conspiratorial forces behind the use of violence, aimed against his administration.
“There have been acts of violence that were not present before. I would say that it is a new phenomenon that has to do with the beginning of our government, so I even distrust its authenticity,” he said.
“You see that usually extremes come together. I see these movements as very conservative, very conservative … these conservative movements would like us to be repressive, to use force. They are provoking, provoking and provoking,” he added.
The infiltration of “conservative feminists” was commonly recognized among the wider feminist community, the president claimed, declaring that the feminist movement was a recent phenomenon. “You have to see what is behind it because about two years ago, when the feminist movement started, many women participated but they began to realize that [the movement] had been turned into conservative feminists just to damage us,” he said.
AMLO has consistently sidestepped questions about his view on the Supreme Court’s decriminalization of abortion. “I can’t express an opinion. I’m not washing my hands of it … it’s better for all Mexicans that a president doesn’t take sides on an issue of this nature,” he said at his press conference on September 21.
The president proposed holding a referendum on the subject prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, but has since said that he respects the ruling.
Mexico is still a largely conservative nation with the second highest number of Catholics in the world after Brazil, and is the most populous country in Latin America to decriminalize abortion.
Largely peaceful pro-abortion protests were also held Tuesday in Chilpancingo, Guerrero; Xalapa, Veracruz; and Cuernavaca, Morelos; and Toluca, México state.
With reports from Expansión