MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Support for abortion rose sharply in Mexico in 2020, according to a poll published on Monday, as attitudes towards the issue shift across Latin America.
In Mexico, a majority Roman Catholic nation, elective abortion is allowed only in the capital and the state of Oaxaca, but a growing pro-choice movement has been calling for a loosening of restrictions.
At the end of November, support for abortion stood at 48% in a survey, published by the news organizations El Financiero and Nación321 – a steep rise from the 29% recorded in March.
The poll, based on telephone interviews with 410 participants, asked if respondents agreed that “the law should permit a woman the right to abortion.”
Although Latin America has some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws, Argentina legalized the procedure last month.
The move was a triumph for the women’s rights movement in a region where the Catholic Church has held cultural and political sway for centuries.
Several nations in Latin American ban abortion outright, including El Salvador, which has sentenced some women to up to 40 years in prison.
Until recently, only Communist Cuba and tiny Uruguay permitted elective abortions.
In most of Mexico, abortion is banned except under certain circumstances, such as rape. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has declined to take a position, saying wider legalization should be a matter for public consultation.
(Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Kevin Liffey)