08/20/10 – The governor of Guanajuato, Juan Manuel Oliva, drafted and presented an initiative that will reform the state penal system currently in place in the state. Included in the draft is a change on the punishment for abortion despite there being no women in Guanajuato currently imprisoned for it. Currently, a woman faces up to 35 years in prison for performing an abortion; the new initiative seeks to reduce the maximum penalty to eight years.
The Office of Human Rights in the State (La Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos del Estado) recently undertook an investigation of seven women regarding the punishment they face for abortion; the conclusion was that the penalties those seven women faced were excessive.
Manuel Oliva referred to the current penal system as “inadequate” for penalizing women who undergo the procedure of abortion. Gerardo Trujillo Flores, coordinator for the National Action Party (PAN), stated that the party will review the initiative and “discuss what needs to be discussed.”
Milenio. “Diputados acuerdan revisar Código Penal de Guanajuato.” Milenio. 20 August, 2010.
Milenio. “Buscan en Guanajuato reformar Código Penal para reducir penas por aborto” Milenio. 20 August, 2010.
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I think you will find that the measure that José Manuel Oliva introduced to the State Congress to reduce the sentences given in the case of those found guilty of abortion is his attempt to silence the criticisms to which he is being subjected by pro-choiceand feminist groups in Mexico for the shameful treatment the state justice system has given more than a hundred women accused of procuring an abortion.
In Guanajuato there are currently 161 inquiries ](averiguaciones previas) being made due to accusations of abortion, of which 14 women face criminal charges and 9 have been condemned to prision. Six are still in prision. These women will hopefully be released one this iniciative becomes law. However, this will not alter the fact that in Guanajuato as in 17 other Mexican states a women can still be prosecuted for having an abortion or a miscarriage that is classed as an abortion.