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Back To Vidyya Mexico City Mayor Moves To Keep Abortion Legal For Rape Victims

Abortion To Stay Legal In cases Of Severe Defects And Threat To Life Of Mother

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 Action Party.

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 theme."

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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