Lawmakers in Mexican state defeat bill to expand legalization of abortion

Pachuca, Mexico, Dec 17, 2019 / 04:35 pm (CNA).- Last week, the Hidalgo state legislature in Mexico defeated a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Abortion is already legal in the state in cases where doctors determine there is a grave risk to the health of the mother, for serious genetic or congenital malformations in the child, and for up to 90 days in cases of rape.

The bill would have legalized abortion on demand up to 12 weeks, and up to 24 weeks for minors, persons with disabilities, and in cases of rape. The legislation stated that “the embryo cannot be considered a person or a human being until the first trimester of pregnancy is completed.”

The bill was introduced March 21 by representatives Areli Miranda of the Democratic Revolution Party and Viridiana Aceves of the Social Encounter Party, along with more than a dozen members of the National Regeneration Party (Morena) of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The Dec. 12 vote on the bill was 10 for and 15 against, with 5 abstentions.

Pro-life organizations hailed the vote. The Network of Pro-Life Youth of Mexico thanked the lawmakers who voted against the bill. In a statement sent to ACI Prensa, they said that “we always back public policies and the development of specific strategies by the government so they can support vulnerable women and always defend both lives.”

Rodrigo Iván Cortés of the National Front for the Family told ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language news partner, that “Life has won today in Hidalgo.”

He noted that there is a tradition in Mexico, which takes place at noon on Dec. 12, of recalling the Archangel Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary that she would conceive a son, Jesus. The vote against the abortion legislation occurred at noon on Dec. 12, he said.

Cortés praised the work of Javier Serbulo, Hidalgo state director of the National Front for the Family, who helped set up the Blue Wave (pro-life) Coalition that allowed the 15 pro-life legislators to stand firm.

He also criticized the heavy pressure exerted on Morena party members to vote for the abortion bill.

Speaking to ACI Prensa, Marcial Padilla, director of the pro-life organization ConParticipación, said the Dec. 12 vote showed that “despite various efforts by sectors in the government and political parties to impose abortion on the country, they failed to get the legislators and society to buy an anti-life narrative.”

“This motivates society, especially the young people who support the right to life, that they don't have to yield to the pressure by abortion groups,” he said.

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