[Today's guest post is a press release from the Mexican pro-life organization TAD, which has been translated into English. This week marks the anniversary of legal abortion in Mexico City.]
The Mexican state has neglected its duties toward mothers. Without support from her family, her partner, or her government, abortion would seem to be the only "choice" for many women in Mexico City.
The figures are alarming. In 2009, the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) reported 153,237 births in Mexico City, while El Colegio de México and the Guttmacher Institute stated that 122,455 abortions took place during the same period. That's 12 abortions for every 15 births.
"Pregnant and lacking support, women seek options that might help them face maternity. But after an excruciating bureaucratic ordeal of misinformation, lengthy processes, and endless obstacles—emblematic of a State that does not consider pregnant women as a relevant peopulation—many mothers make desperate decisions which later on they regret”, said Ingrid Tapia, lawyer and specialist at TAD (THINK • ACTION • DEVELOPMENT).
According to Tapia, the abortion program created by Mexico City’s government and maintained for the past seven years has emphasized abortion advocacy, rather than meeting women's real needs. The local government has failed to propose or implement programs to aid expectant women and their gestating children.
“Seven years ago, the local government claimed that the legalization of abortion would drastically reduce clandestine practices, and thus reduce maternal mortality. But clearly, maternal mortality is still a problem—and clandestine abortions haven't been eliminated either, so no one knows for certain how many abortions take place and under what conditions," concludes Tapia.
Mexico has many social welfare issues to address. But supposed "quick fixes" like the failed abortion policy only make matters worse. Expectant women in Mexico continue to face discrimination, abandonment, and violence. We must demand better from our country.