Women in Mexico convicted of homicide for abortions

The Latin American Herald Tribune brings attention to the reality that exists when abortion is criminalized. Six women are currently serving 25-30 year sentences in Guanajuato, Mexico for having abortions. Their conviction? Homicide.

Reproductive justice organization Centro Las Libres has been working to bring attention to Mexico’s criminalization and incarceration of women in attempts to change laws and free the women who are currently in prison; they’ve been able to release one so far. Via LAHT:

Since the beginning of the decade, more than 40 women have been put on trial for abortion, which is punishable by up to three years in prison under the Guanajuato penal code.

“The government always has denied that it imprisoned people for the crime of abortion. We had to go from prison to prison to verify it,” said the Centro Las Libres director.

The legislation regarding abortion varies in Mexico’s 32 separate jurisdictions. While in Mexico City it is legal, some states continue to treat abortion as a criminal offense.

Even so, federal law includes some circumstances under which any woman, regardless of where she may live, can have an abortion, namely in the case of rape or risk to her life because of the pregnancy.

On top of that, what’s worth mentioning is that the conservative-led state of Guanajuato — while having the highest rate of teen pregnancy in Mexico — still refuses to allow sex education in its schools.

h/t to MAC.

Join the Conversation

  • Bethany

    Things like this make me think of the “doublethink” of Orwell’s 1984. Teen pregnancy is at its highest rate there, and yet people remain completely uneducated about contraception and sexual health. And women are convicted of murder for abortions! I’ve never heard of that before, and it’s really terrible. I really can’t understand the thinking behind this, and I feel terrible for those women who live there. I can only hope it can get better some day.

  • Ian

    Wow, I wasn’t aware of this. I’ve been to Guanajuato, seemed like a great city.

    Anti-choicers in the US always seem to shy away from defining what the penalty for the women who had an abortion should be. I guess that’s a good sign? Or it just means they’d prefer to operate like Guanajuato and prosecute very silently.