Oaxaca becomes second Mexican state to decriminalize abortion

Oaxaca (Mexico) (AFP) –


The southern Mexican state of Oaxaca decriminalized abortion Wednesday, making it the second state in the conservative Latin American country to do so.

The state legislature passed the measure in a 24-10 vote after an intense session often interrupted by shouts from activists on both sides of the debate.

People flooded the streets outside the congressional building, wearing green scarves on their necks and wrists, an international symbol of the struggle for legal abortion.

"We have to abort, we have to abort this patriarchal system!" shouted dozens of celebrating women.

With less fervor, some men from anti-abortion groups called the women "murderers," while other demonstrators carrying crosses and posters prayed for legislators to "defend life, God and the commandments."

The approved measure allows legal abortion at the woman's request up until the 12th week of pregnancy.

It matches the law on abortion Mexico City introduced in 2007.

In the other 30 Mexican states, abortion is permitted only in cases of rape or a threat to the mother's life. In central Guanajuato city, abortion is illegal and carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.