It is unclear what these measures mean, however, since they are not defined in the legislation and have yet to be imposed or enforced. Her lawyers have managed to stall these charges for the time being, while in the meanwhile, Patricia fled to the central state of Guanajuato to escape social persecution.
The only legal ground permitted throughout Mexico is if the pregnancy results from rape. Other legal indications in certain states include: Abortion on request in Mexico City Mexico City Distrito Federal is the only place in the country where abortion has been permitted at the request of the woman during the first trimester of pregnancy since April In addition, the law strengthened sexual education curricula in schools and called for widespread access to contraceptive methods.
Shortly after being passed, the law was challenged in the Mexican Supreme Court by groups opposed to the legislation. In August , the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law.
In the state of Durango, the requirement that the Public Prosecutor must authorise an abortion following rape is still in the Criminal Code. It was therefore not necessary for the women to see a psychologist either. Family members took the girl to the police station the day it happened to report the assault and as a result of her complaint and accompanying medical evidence, the public prosecutor charged the man involved. She was not offered emergency contraception at the time.
The state health service also refused to allow the girl an abortion. She was taken to Mexico City for an abortion. One study estimated the induced abortion rate in Mexico in to be 33 abortions per 1, women aged years, a comparatively high rate by global standards. From to , 7. The most recent figures from this programme show that women from other Mexican states have become users of these services, as well as residents of Mexico City.
Nonetheless, and in spite of financial support from groups like Fondo Maria Maria Fund , who provide financial assistance to individual women, it is not possible for all the women needing safe and legal abortions to come to Mexico City for them. Data show that the majority of women having abortions are aged 18—24, representing Between April and May , the Programme provided services to a total of , women, making it the principal legal abortion provider in the country.
That is, by making abortion so accessible and reducing the need to take unwanted pregnancies to term, the law appears to have contributed to lower fertility. The influence is most visible among women aged 20—34, but with limited impact on teenage fertility. The bill was defeated. The Tlaxcala legislature also reformed its Penal Code to include fetal malformation as a legal indication for abortion. Hence, in spite of the Federal District and some states expanding the legal indications for abortion and the provision of more legal abortion services, the continued penalisation of abortion across most of the country is still leading to women who have abortions being reported and prosecuted.
In the remainder of Mexican state penal codes, the crime of illegal abortion is classified as a misdemeanour, which means that women can await criminal proceedings without being imprisoned through the payment of a bond or bail, as established in Article 19 of the Constitution. This payment is, however, a huge burden for many women who are subject to criminal proceedings, as those who are prosecuted are almost always women with scarce economic resources, who could not afford a safe abortion.
Sanctions for the crime of abortion are as follows: Prison sentences ranging from 15 days to six years 29 states Fines 13 states Community service 4 states Different types of medical or psychological treatment 6 states.
Its Article establishes two distinct punishments for induced abortion: The figures cover the period between August and December , which included a total of abortions that had been reported to law enforcement agencies throughout Mexico, mainly by hospitals but also by family members, partners and neighbours.
The highest figures came from Mexico City at for second trimester abortion , Quintana Roo with 81, Baja California with 75, Veracruz with 57 and Guanajuato with Abortion is illegal under most circumstances in Quintana Roo, Baja California and Guanajuato, which explains high levels of reporting in those states. Veracruz criminalised abortion in all circumstances in Of the cases reported, 75 resulted in criminal prosecution. Some of these were men, presumably either abortion providers, or partners or relatives of the women.
Of these, 29 sentences were ultimately handed down for the crime of abortion. GIRE have defended 13 women who were prosecuted for the crime of abortion in alone. She was in her 25th week of pregnancy when she started to have severe pain in her stomach. In the hospital, the social workers requested the intervention of the Public Prosecutor. A short time later, two investigative policemen arrived to interrogate Paola and her father, who was with her. With uncertainty about her legal situation, Paola requested to be discharged from the hospital that same day.
On 17 June , he was summoned to testify as a witness, without knowing any further details of the case. On the advice of GIRE, he requested a copy of the clinical file. GIRE filed an amparo a federal lawsuit challenging the official acts of a federal, state or municipal authority for consideration of whether it is unconstitutional to ascertain the reason for her arrest.
No information was obtained. However, the Public Prosecutor cancelled the warrant, the amparo was suspended, and Paola was released from custody. In early , when she was 21 years old, Martha went to see a doctor complaining of uncomfortable stomach pains. The doctor diagnosed gastritis, and gave her treatment for this condition.
In March , Martha began experiencing severe stomach pains, so she returned to the doctor, where she had a miscarriage. Six of the 10 cases resulted in criminal prosecution and of those, three women were sentenced.
And the work of the Centro Las Libres  made international headlines in when 7 Guanajuato women who had been accused of inducing abortions and jailed on homicide charges were set free, thanks to their successful legal defence. These claims led Gynuity Health Projects to analyse whether they were scientifically bona fide. GIRE was able to challenge the evidence in both cases. Angela, a year-old indigenous woman of Otomi descent, was living in extreme poverty in the State of Mexico.
She was raped several times by her ex-partner. One day, while carrying corn to the mill at work, she began to have severe abdominal pains. When she began to haemorrhage, she went to the hospital for help, where she was accused of allegedly inducing an illegal abortion.
A pre-trial investigation was initiated against her for an illegal abortion allegedly carried out using misoprostol pills. The health personnel claimed they found misoprostol in a urine sample. Based on an anonymous report, the state Public Prosecutor initiated a pre-trial investigation against her for an illegal abortion, allegedly carried out with misoprostol pills.
Carla was arrested and held in custody while she was still recovering in the hospital. The health personnel took a blood sample where they allegedly found misoprostol.
Carla had to pay bail in order to avoid being sent to prison. She never made any statements regarding having used pills nor was there any evidence to that effect. After receiving support from GIRE, the Public Prosecutors concerned had to set both women free due to lack of actual evidence. Twenty-one states confirmed that they apply this procedure and passed sentence on the basis of it. Adriana had had an abortion was she was 18, and her family had reported her to the police.
She was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Adriana did not speak Spanish at the time of her trial and did not have access to an interpreter or effective legal defence. Her sentence was later reduced to 22 years after an appeal filed by Las Libres. The Supreme Court, which took 2. Until and unless there is federal constitutional reform, legal support for women at the state level as cases arise will continue. In , the Mexican Supreme Court debated the decriminalisation of abortion at the federal level for the first time.
The case arose from an injunction filed by a woman who was denied an abortion on legal grounds in It was symbolic in that she was able to have an abortion in a private clinic, but a favourable ruling would have set an important precedent.
To end unsafe abortions and ensure equal access to reproductive rights and health for all Mexican women, abortion legislation needs to be reformed across the entire country. Edited by Marge Berer. Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Women and Girls Without Justice: Reproductive Rights in Mexico. Op cit ref 2. Op cit ref 4 p. Studies in Family Planning 47 2: Reproductive Health Matters 22 International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 3: International Family Planning Perspectives 34 4: Analysis of maternal and abortion-related mortality in Mexico over the last two decades, International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 2: Global, regional, and national levels and causes of maternal mortality during — Op cit ref Op cit ref 4.
Original source no longer online  Edith Y. Abortion banned by controversial Mexican state governor.