Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Facing challenges by conservative factions here, Mexico City’s year-old abortion rights bill was upheld (8 to 3) by the Supreme Court last week. Along with a new domestic partnership bill, another measure making it easier for transsexuals to change their names, and a proposal for a right-to-die law (expected to pass the city’s left-leaning legislature), Mexico City is poised to become, in mayor Marcelo Ebrard’s words, “the most liberal city in Latin America”.

This is a new identity for our city, better known as the place where Aztecs ripped out beating hearts, Spaniards burned heretics at the stake, and government soldiers shot at unarmed students. Shaken to their foundations by the 1985 earthquake, the city’s inhabitants clearly sense the basic instability, the fragility, of our planet...perhaps making them more tolerant of everything that's on it.

Until recently, even the discussion of birth control or abortion had been taboo, so the new law touches a lot of hot spots. For many Mexicans, the often heard phrase“lo que Dios nos mande” (“whatever God sends us”) sums up the attitude here about family planning. The idea of a woman choosing to be, or to remain, pregnant, is new in Mexican society.

ne out of every four Mexicans lives in the greater metropolitan area, so anything that goes on here affects the whole country. As
Mexico celebrates its Fiestas Patrias amid reports of kidnappings and drug wars, the Supreme Court’s decision reaffirms the direction of Marcelo Ebrard and his PRD party, whose daring, liberal ideas are changing the face of Mexico.

No comments:

Post a Comment