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Mexico City wrestles with new abortion law

August 26, 2008 |  9:18 am

Mexico_abortionDespite Mexico's large Roman Catholic population, the nation's capital, Mexico City, recently adopted one of the most liberal abortion laws in the hemisphere. But officials here are finding that making the new policy stand up in court, and in a society riven by deep class divisions, may be harder than they imagined.

"When Mexico City’s government made abortion legal last year, it also set out to make it available to any woman who asked for one. That includes the city’s poorest, who for years resorted to illegal clinics and midwives as wealthy women visited private doctors willing to quietly end unwanted pregnancies," the New York Times reports.

"But helping poor women gain equal access to the procedure has turned out to be almost as complicated as passing the law, a watershed event in this Catholic country and in a region where almost all countries severely restrict abortions."

"Now, even as the city’s left-wing government revamps its abortion services, the law is coming up against its biggest challenge — in the courts."

Read here for background on Mexico City's abortion laws.

-- Reed Johnson in Mexico City

Photo: Alejandra, 24, took pills to induce an abortion after staff members at a public hospital in Mexico City scared her out of undergoing the procedure there. Credit: Jennifer Szymaszek / For the New York Times