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Abortion: Now Legal in Mexico City April 25, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in abortion, new york times.

An article in The New York Times revealed that abortion during the first trimester is now legal in Mexico City. This vote makes it possible for women living in Mexico City and its suburbs (approximately 10 million women) to have a legalized right to abortion. Citing death tolls of women who have received botched abortions and the female right to chose, many are thrilled with this vote and hope that it encourages other Latin American countries to do the same. What strikes me as particularly interesting,however, is Mexico’s heavily religious background. According the the 1990 census, 89.7% of Mexicans are Catholic. What does their legalizing abortion say about the church? Does their decision say anything about the United States?


1. Melissa - April 27, 2007

I’ve also heard about the recent liberalization of social politics in Mexico City and am sad to say that I don’t see the recent victories lasting very long. In addition to legalizing abortion, Mexico City has also legalized same sex unions and traditionally been a bastion for liberal politics in the country. It is true that Mexico is heavily Catholic, but because of the city’s roots in the revolution it has been less influenced by the religious constraints that continue to control the rest of the country. Abortion and same-sex unions are illegal under Mexican federal law (I am sure that abortion is illegal and the process is under way to make same-sex unions illegal), and though they have been legalized in Mexico city the process of overturning the local laws has already begun. I’ve travelled extensively throughout Mexico, and on my last trip stayed in Mexico City for several weeks, and was surprised at the vast differences within the country. I never realized just how conservative Mexico was until I visited the capital- a far cry from other cities and towns within the region and country. Though the prospect of the developing liberal society is promising in Mexico, I think it will still take many years for the city’s liberalization to influence the rest of the country (this is how it has traditionally worked in Mexico as the capital is seen as the cultural and political center of the country). Mexico’s ties to the Church are too strong to celebrate the recent victories, and the Church’s interests are too great for it to let this liberalization happen without a fight (to date the Church has spent MILLIONS of dollars on its campaign to counter the recent policies).

2. Miss Mexico's 'War Gown,' or, Fashion Matters in the Miss Universe « 13.69 - April 28, 2007

[…] of contemporary Mexico’s political moment, which Melissa has also pointed out to us to in her response to JL’s post on the new abortion laws in Mexico […]

3. $3.60 · Miss Mexico’s ‘War Gown,’ or, Fashion Matters - July 27, 2007

[…] good at reading the dress as a signifier of contemporary Mexico’s political moment, which Melissa has also pointed out to us to in her response to JL’s post on the new abortion laws in Mexico […]

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