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Mexico attorney general joins legal challenge to Mexico City abortion law

[JURIST] The Mexican government joined in opposition to a Mexico City [official website, in Spanish] abortion law legalizing abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy on Friday, appointing Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora to help argue before the Supreme Court of Mexico [official website] that the law is unconstitutional. Mora joins Jose Luis Soberanes [Wikipedia profile], Mexico's top human rights official, who has already brought suit to strike down the law. In order for the law to be overturned, eight of the 11 Supreme Court judges must declare unconstitutional.

Mexico City passed the bill in April [JURIST report], requiring hospitals to provide the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy. Abortion is generally illegal throughout the heavily Roman Catholic country, with exceptions only for cases of rape. Mexico City previously loosened the country's restriction to allow abortions when the health of the mother was in danger. Last year Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] conducted an extensive study of abortion availability for rape victims in Mexico [study text; press release], finding that those seeking legal abortions often are intimidated with insults and threats of legal retaliation by both prosecutors and health workers. Reuters has more.

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