MEXICO – Mexico’s president doesn’t want responsibility for changing the abortion law: women should decide, he says

Mexico City, 28 September 2020, calling for abortion law reform

One day after the Argentine Senate voted to make abortion legal, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was asked during a news conference whether he thought his country should follow suit.

He replied that women should decide whether the country should legalise abortion. He declined to take a position on the issue himself.

Instead, he said, there should be a public consultation, given that the matter was controversial, adding that mechanisms existed to organise referendums. “It’s just that matters of this nature should not be decided from above.” It seems the Mexican Constitution allows ‘popular consultations’ at the request of the President of the Republic, 33% of the members of any of the houses of Congress or, at least 2% of those registered in the electoral roll, currently 1.8 million citizens.

A nationwide poll published in September 2019 by the newspaper El Financiero (which from its website does not appear to have any expertise in the subject) showed that a woman’s right to abortion only had majority support in Mexico City and Baja California state – 63% of people were against the right to abortion, and 32% in favour, according to a survey of 15,000 adults. No link to the survey or details of its source or details of the wording of the questions is provided, however.

SOURCES: Reuters, 31 December 2020 + PHOTO, by Carlos Jasso, Reuters Mexico ; Explica, 31 December 2020