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Six Mexican Women Serving Homicide Sentences For Abortions

Some people who oppose abortion consider it the taking of an innocent life, and they sometimes use words like "baby killer" and "murder." In one Mexican state, the sentiment behind this language has literal consequences: six women are in prison after courts convicted them of homicide for having abortions. Activists say the women, who are all poor with little education, have been in prison for three to eight years, serving 25- to 30-year sentences.

Abortion laws vary across Mexico, but the state where the women were convicted takes a hardline stance. The conservative state Guanajuato won't enforce a federal law against gender violence, and although it has a high rate of teen pregnancy, sex ed is not taught in its schools. The mayor even attempted to outlaw passionate kissing in public.

If you think something like this could never happen here, consider the fact that a majority of Americans now consider themselves "pro-life." Of course, different views regarding the legality of abortion can live within the pro-life designation. For example, someone who considers herself pro-life may want it legal in case of rape or incest, or to punish the doctors, not the women, while another pro-life person may want women who have abortions to go to prison. Could you imagine something like this happening in the US?

Image Source: Getty
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Lenay Lenay 5 years
Abortion shouldn't be treated as a black and white issue. Surely, people on both sides can see the difference between aborting a cluster of cells the size of an aspirin tablet at eight weeks gestation, and having what's known as a "partial birth abortion" at eight MONTHS in which labor is induced and the fetus is strangled with its umbilical cord once the head is out. (Yes, this is practiced in the United States.) I was flatly against abortion at any stage of development until I got pregnant by a "date rape" by someone I had previously considered a friend. I already had two preschool aged children from my marriage, was divorced and in the process of going back to school to make a better life for my little three person family. There just weren't any resources available for raising a third child in my circumstances, and it wouldn't have been fair to the children I was already doing my best to raise.
rhymesworange rhymesworange 5 years
A society can't be free without every person being free. And these women do not have the freedom of choice.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
tigr, do you have any proof whatsoever that "once anti-abortion laws go into effect, any pregnancy that is terminated whether by natural causes or otherwise will be punished the same, as murder"? A link, maybe? You make it sound like- in the near future- American women who have miscarriages will be thrown in jail to rot. brys I couldn't see this happening here either. I'm just trying to bring up the serious civil rights issues at hand, by imprisoning the miscarriage woman. The people who threw her in jail obvious don't know what 'spontaneous abortion' is, they're just uneducated fanatics.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 5 years
tres you forgot that some people who are pro life are crazy chrstians who reference the bible when talking about abortion. i believe that these illogical people turn many off on pro-lifers. some people who are pro- life just think its gruesome after too much time has passes and you should think about someone other than yourself. the above comments by other members "If you aren't me then you can't possibly imagine what I am going through and why I make the choices I do" "my choices are personal and no one in the gov't should make that decision for me. Its like the gov't telling you who to marry." "I don't feel that I have the right to decide what someone else should and can do with their own body. " just show that me me me attitude which has become the norm unfortunately. why not think about what the procedure is and if it is humane instead of avoiding it in your head and supporting a gruesome act so that your life wont be affected by and innocent baby. there are so many things that can affect your life plan which you cant control, just because this obstacle can be fixed by a doctor and its legal in some places does not mean its right or especially a god-given right. instead of being blindly pro-choice we should look do what's natural and that is a mother loving a child. however society doesn't support this- teen pregnancy and single mothers are subject to stigma and pity but obviously when there are health problems for mom or baby thats when the issue gets very murky and just sad
bryseana bryseana 5 years
I couldn't see something like that happening in the United States. It is sad to see how women are treated in certain countries. I feel really bad about the woman who's going to be executed for allegedly having an affair. It's a powerless feeling, because no one seems to want to come to the defense of these women. Makes me think of the John Lennon song about women being slaves of the world. Sometimes it seems true.
reesiecup reesiecup 5 years
I don't feel that I have the right to decide what someone else should and can do with their own body. I think we live in a world where things are not always black and white. Everyone should be given a choice in a free country, IMO. I'm not a fan of bans.
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 5 years
@Betty Wayne you are correct, once anti-abortion laws go into effect, any pregnancy that is terminated whether by natural causes or otherwise will be punished the same, as murder. A woman's choice should be protected. I know what its like to be in that situation, my choices are personal and no one in the gov't should make that decision for me. Its like the gov't telling you who to marry. If abortion is outlawed women will only resort to more desperate measures. It's best to educate and provide safe facilities. That is the only way to prevent women from getting into situations where abortion is needed.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
I certainly oppose abortion, but I don't quite consider it the taking of an innocent life, and I certainly don't consider it murder. Tres what do you think you're adding to the debate with a comment like that? I think you omitted the most shocking part of this article: "Of these seven cases, one was a spontaneous abortion, two others were undertaken because of rape and the rest were for accidental pregnancies..." Spontaneous abortion... as in miscarriage? A woman was jailed for miscarriage? I mean the whole thing is crazy but that's fucking CRAZY.
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 5 years
Women should have a choice of what they want to do with their bodies! If you aren't me then you can't possibly imagine what I am going through and why I make the choices I do. I don't judge anyone for being pro-life so don't judge me for being pro-choice.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 5 years
What women have to go through around the world is terrifying... I really hope one day more countries will allow women to safely and legally abort, rather then harassing or jailing them, it's so painful to see. I live in Canada so I don't know the pro choice vs. anti choice statistics, I really hope the majority is pro choice!
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