Friday, October 30, 2009

What Happens When Eggs are Classified as People: Eyes on Mexico.

Back in 2007, when Mexico City legalized abortions during the first 12 weeks, many people, both pro-choice and anti-choice, thought that this law would spread to the rest of the country.

Instead, Mexico has seen a backlash, and many states have introduced stricter laws on abortion, even including egg-as-person laws (kind of what like many US states are trying to do, only so far no US state has passed one of these laws.)

The passage of personhood laws in Mexico allows us a grim opportunity to see what could happen in the US if such laws are passed here.

The Atlantic reported various consequences of egg-as-person laws:

  • Jalisco: punishment for induced abortion is four to 12 months in prison if she doesn't have a "bad reputation," had her abortion in the first 5 months, successfully hid her pregnancy, or became pregnant in an illegitmate union. If she fails one of these requirements, the term DOUBLES; if she fails two, it TRIPLES. Oh, and if a judge says she deserves medical treatment instead of jail time, a counselor will help her reorient herself towards "family values."

  • Quintana Roo: A woman was imprisoned for "homocide" because she had an abortion

  • Access to the abortion pill is limited, resulting in shoddy street versions that may endanger a woman's life; plus, when doctors discover use of abortion pill, they send their patients away in handcuffs.

    Pro-choice activists are fighting back, and Opinion polls show that 62 percent of Mexicans think the government shouldn't intervene in a woman's right to chose. Until public policy reflects public opinion, however, strict legal restrictions on abortion will continue to put women at risk.

    Photo Credit: Petezin on
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