Many women have been jailed for abortion in Mexico

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About 200 women are still in prison in Mexico under outdated anti-abortion state laws even though the Supreme Court decriminalized abortion last year, advocates said.

Some of these women suffered miscarriages and never had an abortion procedure, advocates said. Yet they are still being punished under many state laws that consider abortion to be a form of homicide.

The laws even applied to women who haven’t had an abortion, but who suffered miscarriages.

The slow legal process to free women who are still imprisoned made some progress this month when Aurelia García Cruceño, a 23-year-old Indigenous woman who was just released from prison after three years for having a miscarriage. But many more women remain in jail for seeking abortions, which is no longer a criminal offense.

García Cruceño grew up in a Nahua indigenous community in one of the poorest mountain regions of Guerrero state. In 2019, a local village official raped her and she became pregnant. She went to live with relatives in the Guerrero city of Iguala, where she was taken to a hospital for bleeding.

She was given a blood transfusion and miscarried, and then was shocked to find herself handcuffed to the hospital bed. A police officer told her she was charged with a form of homicide.

Even though Nahuatl is her native language, she was forced to sign legal documents in Spanish.

“I was very sad, with a lot anxiety,” García Cruceño said. In prison, she practiced Spanish with fellow inmates, who she said encouraged her.

“One woman gave me some advice I’ll never forget,” she said. “’In here, you have to be strong, you have to be brave,” the woman told her.

Marina Reyna Aguilar, president of the Guerrero Association Against Violence Against Women, said García Cruceño’s case was illustrative of what often happens to young and poor Indigenous women.

“There are a lot of cases like Aurelia’s,” said Reyna Aguilar. In Guerrero in 2022, there were 108 women murdered and 12 cases of femicide — cases of women and girls killed because of their gender.

Source: El Financiero

Mexico Daily Post