The Hidalgo Congress has rejected a bill to legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Fifteen lawmakers voted against the proposal Thursday, 10 voted in favor and five abstained. The bill divided lawmakers from the Morena party, which dominates the 30-seat legislature. Seven party representatives supported the proposal, six voted against it and two abstained.
Lawmakers from the conservative National Action Party voted uniformly against legalization and with the support of the six Morena representatives, as well as Labor Party, Institutional Revolutionary Party and Nueva Alianza deputies, succeeded in defeating the proposal.
The bill, which sought to modify both the state criminal code and health law, will now be re-analyzed in Congress committees.
Groups both in favor of and against the legalization of abortion watched the vote from inside the legislative chamber.
After the proposal was defeated, members of the pro-abortion Marea Verde (Green Tide) movement broke into a chant that labeled lawmakers who didn’t support the bill as traitors.
Rebeca Ramos of the feminist organization Information Group on Reproductive Choice, told the newspaper Reforma that in contrast to what happened in Oaxaca, where abortion was legalized in September, “prejudices prevailed” in the Hidalgo Congress.
Lawmakers who voted against the bill turned their backs on arguments based on human rights, women’s health needs and international recommendations, she said.
Ramos added that prosecution rates for illegal abortions are higher in Hidalgo than most other states.
“It’s among the five [states] with the highest number of complaints and sentences for the crime of abortion,” she said.
Over the past 12 years, 1,180 women from Hidalgo have had legal abortions in Mexico City, which until September was the only federal entity where the service was legally available.
Between 2007 – the year in which first-trimester abortion was legalized in Mexico City – and 2019, only women from the capital and neighboring México state have accessed legal abortions in greater numbers than those from Hidalgo.
Source: Reforma (sp)