Seven women who had been imprisoned in Guanajuato state in Mexico after alleged abortions were freed yesterday. Women's rights activist Veronica Cruz, who has been working on the women's behalf, told the Associated Press that the women were "innocent" and that "they all suffered miscarriages." The state convicted the women under a state law that addressed "homicide against a close relative" by arguing that they had given birth to live infants and that the infants had died due to mistreatment and neglect.
The women's sentences were reduced earlier this week to 3 to 8 years after the state passed a law that still considers abortion "infanticide," but that also found the women's sentences to be "inappropriate, given that they were excessively punitive and ranged from 25 to 35 years," reported the Associated Press. The women were released on account of time already served.
According to Agence France Presse, abortion is punishable by a prison sentence in half of Mexico's 32 states. Currently in Mexico, abortion is legal only in Mexico City. The Mexican Supreme Court ruled 8 to 3 in 2008 Mexico City's law allowing abortion in the first trimester is constitutional. Outside of Mexico City, abortions are allowed only in cases of rape, if a woman's life is in danger, or if there are severe fetal abnormalities. Under the Mexico City law, all public hospitals are required to give patients free abortions, but individual doctors can refuse to carry out the procedure.
Media Resources: Associated Press 9/7/10; Agence France Presse 9/7/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/29/08
The following is a statement by our Founder and President, Eleanor Smeal, on the events in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Feminist Majority Foundation calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct a thorough, unbiased investigation into the shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.
The killing of Michael Brown and the blundered, militarized response by law enforcement to the call for justice is a tragic reminder that in many African American communities across the nation, the police themselves can be a threat.
Given the distrust of the police by the local African American community, the close ties between the St. . . .