Just as the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a ban on "partial-birth abortions" — even when the life of the mother is in danger and in cases of rape or incest — D.F.’s legislature has legalized abortions in the capital city. Will this stand? What does it mean for Mexico? For the rest of Latin America? (And what do you think of the U.S. decision?)
"Nationally, Mexico allows abortion only in cases of rape, severe birth defects or if the woman’s life is at risk. Doctors sometimes refuse to perform the procedure even under those circumstances.
"The new law will require city hospitals to provide the procedure in the first trimester and opens the way for private abortion clinics. Girls under 18 would have to get their parents’ consent.
"The procedure will be almost free for poor or insured city residents, but is unlikely to attract patients from the United States, where later-term abortion is legal in many states. Under the Mexico City law, abortion after 12 weeks would be punished by three to six months in jail."
"The only countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with legalized abortion for all women are Cuba and Guyana. Most others allow it only in cases of rape or when the woman’s life is at risk. Nicaragua, El Salvador and Chile ban it completely." (AP)