In the last ten years, Mexico has registered 4,246 cases of abortion denouncement, meaning that on average one woman (1.16) is reported to the police every day for seeking the process, according to a new report.
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Titled ”Maternity and Punishment’ and presented at the National Autonomous University of Mexico by the Information Group on Decided Reproduction (GIRE), the report says 136 people are currently imprisoned in Mexico in connection with abortion.
The majority of reported denouncements – 894 – were registered in Mexico City, followed by the states of Baja California with 466; Veracruz with 416, and Nuevo Leon with 339. Over the same 10-year period, 228 people were arrested, of which 83 are still in pretrial detention and 53 are serving formal sentences.
According to the report, the criminalization of abortion in Mexico follows "common" patterns: pregnant girls and women who approach a health center during an ongoing abortion are questioned and denounced by health staff, social workers, family members or acquaintances. The Public Ministry then interrogates them on site.
The report says part of the charges are based on self-incriminatory declarations obtained under pressure and in the context of a medial emergency, leading to a criminal process that can culminate in fines, community work, ‘integral medical treatment’ or even prison.
Some men are also included in the figures, accused of helping women to abort or hurting women in order to induce an abortion.
The voluntary interruption of pregnancy up to 12 weeks is only allowed in Mexico City. The process is banned in the rest of the country, except in cases of rape.