Does the Taliban have a Mexican Wing?

The Mexican state of Guanajuato has some very strict abortion laws: terminating a pregnancy attracts a three-year prison sentence.  However, it would appear that prosecutors occasionally up the ante by bringing a charge of homicide, which brings a much more severe sentence; thus six women have been given 25-30 year sentences for having an abortion.  According to reports, all the women in question were poorly educated; all had been abandoned by the fathers of the children (who subesquently, it’s been alleged, reported the women for having an abortion), and two had become pregnant as a result of rape.

These cases look like the acme of justice, though, compared to that of a seventh woman, who was sent to prison for the crime of having a spontaneous abortion.  Yep: in Guanajuato, even a miscarriage can get you put away for homicide.

Guanajuato seems to have some very strange laws relating to sex, reproduction and women – laws that wouldn’t look too out of place in Taleban-era Afghanistan:

Conservative-led Guanajuato was the only state in the country that refused to promulgate a law against gender violence, as had been federally mandated.

“It was said that violence against women in Guanajuato doesn’t exist and that (such a law) was not necessary,” [one commentator] said. Some years ago, she noted, the authorities tried to eliminate rape as a justifying factor for having an abortion but the opposition of activists prevented that.
[…]

The mayor of Guanajuato city, Eduardo Romero, also tried to prohibit passionate kissing in public.

Oh, and one other thing:

Guanajuato – with Mexico’s highest rate of teen pregnancy – refuses to teach sex education in the schools.

What a surprise.

But there’s something interesting about this kind of case.  Those who want to defend a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy will look at reports at this and feel… well, anger, astonishment, righteous indignation, and perhaps a few other similar emotions.  But the pro-life camp ought to see this kind of story as a catastrophe.  After all, it makes them look utterly insane.  It can’t be good PR to be associated with this kind of lunacy.

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