Just a few weeks after National Action Party (PAN) candidate Vincente Fox stunned Mexican politics by unseating the PRI party in presidential elections, PAN legislators in the state of Guanajuato raised long-standing concerns about the party by voting to ban abortion in the cases of rape. PAN has a history of being closely allied with the Roman Catholic Church and of being very socially conservative.
In a statement issued by the PAN legislators, they said, “As legislators, we have to consider not only the damage and pain of a woman who has been raped, but the greater evil that would occur with the death of an innocent minor.”
In most of Mexico’s 31 states, abortion is legal in instances of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger, but in some states it is outlawed and punishable by up to five years in jail for the mother and 10 years in jail for the doctor who performs the abortion.
This April a controversy errupted in the state of Baja California when a 14-year old who had been raped was refused an abortion at a hospital. When the mother and daughter went to complaint to the state’s attorney general, he took the mother and daughter to a Roman Catholic priest who tried to talk the girl and mother out of having an abortion.