With 24 votes in favor and 10 against, the Congress of Oaxaca passed the decree reforming the state’s Penal Code to decriminalize abortion.
The morena benches, Labour Party (PT) and independent legislators voted for it, while against it were members of the PRI, PAN and Social Meeting.
With this decision, Oaxaca is the second state to decriminalize the interruption of pregnancy for any reason during the first 12 weeks of gestation, after the initiative of the coordinator of the parliamentary group of Morena in the state, Laura Estrada Mauro.
The legislator noted that if the reform is not approved, illegal abortions will continue, which according to figures of the Ministry of Health of Oaxaca, a year two thousand 300 clandestine abortions are performed on the entity, however, it is estimated that for every interruption that is has knowledge, there are three of which are not recorded, so the figure could be more than nine thousand abortions a year.
The discussion was marked by technical glitch on the voting board, as well as protests and insults exchange between lawmakers and aides who were against the initiative.
What you hear in the @CongresoOaxLXIV is criminalization and clandestineness falling apart.
Oaxaca becomes the 2nd entity to decriminalize abortion.
Congratulations, fellas. They’ve had an exemplary battle. We’re still in the fight ?#EsLey #AbortoLegalOaxaca pic.twitter.com/GsYyiK84OB
— Citlalli Hernández M (@CitlaHM) September 25, 2019
After the changes to articles 312, 313, 315, and 316 of the state Penal Code were approved, feminist groups celebrated the decision, while groups opposing decriminalization threw cries of «killers» at lawmakers who backed the reform.
It made me want to cry #AbortoLegalOaxaca pic.twitter.com/5rAncy85rn
— Johana (@Johana_ExJ) September 25, 2019
«The choice is adoption,» says the PAN
Hours after the reform, the National Action Party issued a stance rejecting what was approved in the Congress of Oaxaca.
«We are in favor of life, respect for the human rights of every person, including those who are unborn. Public policies that protect the two lives, convinced that the choice, is adoption, must be pushed,» he posted on his official Twitter account.
We reject the @CongresoOaxLXIV’s decision. In the #PAN we are in favor of life, respect for the human rights of every person, including those who are about to be born. Public policies that protect the two lives, convinced that the choice, must be promoted is the adoption
— National Action (@AccionNacional) September 26, 2019
The text explains that these reforms do not propose abortion as another method of planning, but rather seek to prevent women from being morally prosecuted or punishable by imprisonment if they terminate their pregnancy by self-determination of their will.
The reform to the Penal Code only considers abortion as a crime after the tenth week of gestation, and not «at any time of pregnancy», as the rule said until this Wednesday, September 25.
A crime shall be considered, punishable from six months to two years in prison, with the exception of the following cases:
Where abortion is caused only by the recklessness of the pregnant woman or departfrom a verifiable natural cause;
Where the pregnancy is the result of a violation and the victim decides by himself or through his legitimate representatives the free, conscious and informed interruption of the corresponding product, with medical intervention and up to within the twelveth week of gestation;
Where the abortion is not caused, a pregnant woman is in danger of her health or death, in the opinion of the attending physician, hearing the opinion of another doctor, provided that this is possible and the delay is not dangerous and until the tenth week of gestation;
When abortion is due to serious eugenic causes according to the prior opinion of two experts.
Read more: Abortion in Mexico: In which states are women most criminalized for terminating pregnancy?
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