Journal Article

Decriminalization of abortion in Mexico City: The effects on women’s reproductive rights

In April 2007, the Mexico City, Mexico, legislature passed landmark legislation decriminalizing elective abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In Mexico City, safe abortion services are now available to women through the Mexico City Ministry of Health's free public sector legal abortion program and in the private sector, and more than 89 000 legal abortions have been performed. By contrast, abortion has continued to be restricted across the Mexican states (each state makes its own abortion laws), and there has been an antichoice backlash against the legislation in 16 states.

Mexico City's abortion legislation is an important first step in improving reproductive rights, but unsafe abortions will only be eliminated if similar abortion legislation is adopted across the entire country.