Mexico City's mayor on Monday approved a
proposal that would decriminalize abortion when the life of the
mother is threatened or when the fetus has severe birth defects.
The move came days after legislators in the northern state of
Guanajuato voted to prohibit abortion in cases of rape, heightening
fears about the conservative agenda of the newly powerful National
Vicente Fox was elected Mexico's leader July 2, becoming the
first opposition presidential candidate to defeat a member of
Mexico's ruling party, which has held the presidency for 71 years.
However, Fox, a member of National Action, has struggled to bury
historical fears of his party's socially conservative stance.
The law in Mexico City _ a federal district with its own
legislature _ currently allows abortions in the case of rape. In
addition to decriminalizing abortion in some cases, the proposal
signed by Mayor Rosario Robles would also decrease from five to
three years the maximum prison sentence for women who voluntarily
have an illegal abortion.
The initiative must still receive the approval of Mexico City's
legislature before becoming law.
In a thinly veiled reference to Fox's transition team, Robles of
the leftist Democratic Revolution Party asked that "they abandon
the complicit silence that they have maintained recently over this