Lawmakers in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca have approved a measure to decriminalise abortion, despite vocal Church opposition.
The measure passed the Oaxaca state legislature, 24-10, amid shouts in the session from boisterous supporters and opponents. It allows for abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Oaxaca becomes the second Mexican jurisdiction to decriminalise abortion and follows Mexico City, which approved decriminalisation in 2007.
The Archdiocese of Oaxaca voiced displeasure with the decision, posting on its Facebook page immediately after the measure was approved: “Only God decides who is born and who is not born.”
In a statement released later that day, Archbishop Pedro Vazquez Villalobos said, “Making laws that promote the death of the unborn causes a grave moral deterioration, continues deforming our values and does not protect the defenceless nor defend the weak.”
The archbishop added, “We continue praying that this situation makes us aware of what we want and what kind of society we want to shape so that, as true Christians, we continue to be defenders and promoters of human life.”
The Mexican bishops’ conference expressed opposition to the proposal, saying in a statement, “We reaffirm it is the obligation of the state to protect the rights of each human being, to preserve their lives, from the moment of conception until their natural death. It’s not a topic of majorities or minorities.”