Low-income women who have abortions in Yucatan are more vulnerable to being turned into criminals by authorities

Pregnant woman (Photo: archive)

MÉRIDA, YUCATAN, MX.- The socioeconomic conditions of women who decide to have an abortion in Yucatán are a factor that makes them vulnerable, since their limited resources, they run a much greater risk of being imprisoned by state authorities, indirectly turning them into criminals, while those who have enough money can travel and go to clinics in other states or countries to undergo a legal and safe process.

Andrea Tamayo Cáceres, lawyer and member of the association Igualdad Sustantiva Yucatán, shared two cases of this type that have been registered in Yucatán, that of Evelia and Carolina, both women who had abortions, in the forums leading up to September 28th, Day for the Decriminalization of Abortion.

Evelia, a Mayan woman from the municipality of Tixméhuac, was the victim of rape at the age of 27, which resulted in a pregnancy.

She subsequently had a miscarriage and for this reason, she received a sentence of 12 years and six months and a fine of 154 thousand pesos.

The second case is that of Carolina, a young woman who at the age of 17 was already sexually active and got pregnant; she talked to her mother and told her that she did not want to have it, so she received support and together they traveled to Mexico City, wherewith counseling and gynecological care the legal termination of the pregnancy was carried out.

In her case, her mother supported her and paid for the procedure, so the young woman was able to continue with her life plan and the corresponding care.

“I wanted to tell you these two stories because it is important to see how the simple fact of being in two different places in the same state, due to socioeconomic and cultural issues, and above all not knowing, not having access to education, and not even speaking Spanish, can turn a woman into a criminal before the authorities, because we see that one of them did have the socioeconomic conditions to travel to another state of the republic and carry out a safe and free abortion without major complications”, she explained.

Given this panorama, she explained that data collected by the Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE) show that in 2018, Yucatan occupied the highest place in maternal mortality rate, that is, women who die during pregnancy or in the postpartum period.

On the other hand, the Yucatan state ranks seventh in pregnancy in girls and adolescents between 10 and 14 years of age, while 28 percent of the population is not entitled to a health institution.

For the lawyer, data such as this must be taken into account so that women in Yucatan have access to education, health services and also have the right to choose their own bodies.

The Yucatan Times
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