The Puebla state Congress has approved legislation proposed by Governor Miguel Barbosa that maintains criminal penalties for abortion and a ban on same-sex marriage.
After rejecting a bill that would decriminalize abortion with a near-unanimous vote, lawmakers approved another bill to reduce the maximum criminal penalty for women who obtain abortions from five years’ imprisonment to one year.
Another bill passed by the Congress changed some of the language of a law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but maintains the ban on same-sex marriage.
In practice, same-sex marriage is legal in Puebla because of a 2015 Supreme Court decision which ruled same-sex marriage bans by the states were unconstitutional. However, a court order from a judge is necessary for same-sex couples to get married.
Deputy Rocío García Olmedo, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), criticized deputies with the Morena party, which controls the governor’s office and a majority in the Congress, for failing to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage.
García had previously introduced legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage to bring Puebla into compliance with the Supreme Court decision. After the Congress refused to take up her proposal, she said she will file a lawsuit against the ban.
Labor Party Deputy Juan José Espinosa said that he will report Puebla’s Morena deputies to the party’s national office for their “betrayal” of Morena’s ideals.
“Today, the Fourth Transformation in Puebla made a mistake,” he said. “I remind all of my fellow members of the Juntos Haremos Historia [Together We Make History] coalition who betrayed the trust placed in us, that the people will remember, and the people will punish us.”
The Labor Party was one of the partners in the Morena-led coalition that swept the polls in July last year.
Espinosa added that he fears maintaining a same-sex marriage ban on the books could encourage hate crimes.