Here’s the first look from the AP. Lawmakers approved the proposal, 46-19, with one abstention. The mayor is expected to sign it into law.
Nationally, Mexico allows abortion only in cases of rape, severe birth defects or if the woman’s life is at risk. Doctors sometimes refuse to perform the procedure even under those circumstances.
The new law will require city hospitals to provide the procedure in the first trimester and opens the way for private abortion clinics. Girls under 18 would have to get their parents’ consent.
The procedure will be almost free for poor or insured city residents, but is unlikely to attract patients from the United States, where later-term abortion is legal in many states. Under the Mexico City law, abortion after 12 weeks would be punished by three to six months in jail.
Mexico City began offering same-sex unions in March; the northern state of Coahuila pioneered it in January. On April 12, the Senate began discussing the legalization of euthanasia. And the Supreme Court ruled in February that soldiers who are HIV-positive cannot be expelled from the military. But the abortion debate has sparked the loudest outcry — and underscored the weakening influence of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the rural-urban divide in the country.