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Abortion is legal in Mexico City but questions and critics remain

Abortion is legal in Mexico City but questions and critics remain

Abortion foes vowed Saturday to print posters bearing the names of Mexico City legislators who had voted to legalize the procedure while uncertainty lingered over whether doctors at city-run hospitals could refuse to perform them.
Abortion opponent Guillermo Bustamante of the National Union of Parents told the government news agency Notimex that his group planned to display posters picturing city legislators who voted for the new law next to an aborted fetus in a campaign to get the law, which went into effect Thursday, overturned or repealed.
Meanwhile, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said that doctors at city-run hospitals could not refuse to perform the procedure because of moral objections.
"We have to serve the public, that is what the law orders us to do," Ebrard told reporters on Friday.
Ebrard, whose leftist Democratic Revolution Party supported the law legalizing abortion in Mexico City in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, did not indicate whether doctors who refused would be asked to resign.
Ebrard's comments appeared to conflict with a statement Thursday by Mexico City Health Secretary Manuel Mondragon, who said doctors could not be forced to perform abortions that strictly are elective.
The law applies only to city-run hospitals and would not require doctors in federal hospitals or private clinics in Mexico City to perform abortions. It opens the way, however, for private clinics to perform them.
In cases of rape, severe deformity of the fetus or if the mother's health was at risk, abortions have long been legal in Mexico, and doctors have been required to perform them under those circumstances, although some have defied the law.
The city apparently is still working out the procedural details of the measure, the first of its kind in Mexico. Ebrard said a list was being drawn up of facilities that would offer the service.
"We are working on this, to have a registry of all the institutions, which have to comply with standards of quality medical care," he said.
The church played a vocal role in opposing the law, and church officials have said that anyone who participates in an abortion would face excommunication, including legislators who voted for the law, doctors and nurses who perform the procedure, and the woman herself.


Updated : 2021-01-25 13:30 GMT+08:00