Guerrero: State government presents initiative to legalize abortion

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Ángel Aguirre, governor of the state of Guerrero, has presented a legal initiative to present to the state congress that would legalize abortion in Guerrero.

The measure has been supported by a number of civil and human-rights organizations which favor the idea that women have the power of decision over their bodies and reproduction, as is outlined in different international agreements on sexual and reproductive rights, as well as over the right to safely abort.

“That the interruption of a pregnancy be decriminalized does not mean that pregnant women must abort.  The idea is that they enjoy guarantees and conditions so that they can interrupt pregnancy if they desire to do so,” noted María Luisa Garfias, from the Guerrero Institute for Human Rights (IGDHAC).

According to data provided by the state government of Guerrero, between 2000 and 2008, 141 women died and 100,000 were hospitalized due to unhealthy or clandestine abortion attempts.  In 2010, 5000 were hospitalized in the state over badly performed abortions, notes the IGDHAC.  For the members of the organizations Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Mexico (Ddeser) and Zihuame Xotlametzin, “What is least desired is that women engage in abortion, but if they do it, they should be able do so in adequate conditions.”

Human-rights and women’s organizations have accused the Catholic Church of having launched a disinformation campaign on the question that has produced conflict among citizens of Guerrero.

Libni Dircio, from Zihuame Xotlametzin, exhorted local deputies charged with deciding on the bill to choose from a standpoint of public good rather than religion, thus affirming secularism, human rights, and the sexual and reproductive rights of women: “They are public representatives and for this reason cannot act from a religious basis.  Religion can be practiced at home.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on health emphasizes that penal arrangements which punish and restrict the voluntary interruption of pregnancies are an unacceptable barrier which impedes women from being able to exercise their right to health and for this reason should be eliminated.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ángel Aguirre busca despenalizar el aborto en Guerrero (Animal político, 06 de mayo de 2014)

Despenalización del aborto, nuevo debate en Guerrero (El Universal, 07 de mayo de 2014)

Confía ONG que diputados del PRD avalen despenalización del aborto (La Jornada, 07 de mayo de 2014)

Guerrero inicia un debate “histórico” sobre la legalización del aborto(CNN México, 09 de mayo de 2014)

Chocan posturas sobre el aborto en Guerrero (El Universal, 13 de mayo de 2014)

La Iglesia presiona a ciudadanos para firmar contra la despenalización: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2014)

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