When I moved to Mexico three years ago I didn’t have a clue about the country’s abortion legislation or practice. It wasn’t a topic that I would discuss with my friends or family and my Spanish was lousy enough to keep me ignorant — I could understand only half of what I read in the newspapers or heard on TV.
Then, in October 2014, about a year after my arrival in Mexico, a 14-year-old girl named Rosa was denied access to abortion and her case caught my attention. I was surprised that the authorities would oblige an adolescent to keep an unwanted baby. But when I found out that the pregnancy was a result of incest and that the abuser was her father, I wasn’t just surprised, I was appalled. The judge who refused to give permission offered an absurd explanation — the pregnancy exceeded the time limit established by law. Instead of 12, Rosa was 16 weeks pregnant.