On the eve of International Women's Day 2019, thirty of the forty deputies in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon voted to criminalize abortions. Since then, there has been much discussion about whether women have the power to decide over their own bodies.
Even without this tightening of the law, the situation in Mexico is anything but women-friendly: In 29 of the 32 federal states, women can expect a prison sentence of up to six years after an abortion. Abortions are only permitted in a few exceptional cases, for example after proven rape. However, although violence against women is a major issue, rape is hardly reported. Access to legal abortions is made even more difficult by inadequate health services or lack of financial resources. This is why many women feel compelled to engage in illegal and often dangerous abortions. A senator recently announced an initiative to ban abortions nationwide. However, some members of parliament are in favour of legalisation at national level. Our president now wants to stifle the debate and has talked about a public referendum.
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