25 March 2009

Abortion: Mexican Style

Mexico's lawmakers have voted to recognize "right to life" at conception.
On March 12 lawmakers in Puebla, Mexico, voted to amend the state’s constitution to recognize a "right to life" that begins at conception. Puebla is not the first Mexican state to adopt such a provision -- Colima, Baja California, Sonora, and Morelos have all recently passed similar legislation. The trend among Mexican states to reinforce what are already strict restrictions on abortion access comes in reaction to Mexico City’s groundbreaking 2007 policy to legalize abortion in the Federal District of Mexico during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Challenged by abortion rights opponents, the law was recently upheld by Mexico’s Supreme Court.

These barbaric measures are resulting in more death to women who seek illegal abortion.
These policies not only demonstrate a shocking lack of compassion, they also directly contradict strong evidence from Mexico and other parts of the world that restricting abortion access does not make abortion less common -- it just results in more women dying or being injured by clandestine and unsafe procedures.

When women have a choice, abortion rates tend to go down.
A worldwide study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization found that abortion rates tend to be lowest where the procedure is broadly legal and contraceptives are widely available and used. Moreover, abortion rates are roughly equal in regions where abortion is legal to those where it isn't. The only difference, once again, is that the procedure is very safe in countries where abortion is legal and often unsafe in countries where it is highly restricted.

From all the evidence, it would seem that those who are deciding for women, instead of offering a safe choice, are risking more than one life.

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