The legislative assembly in Mexico City has voted by a large majority to allow early abortions. 49 lawmakers voted in favour of the legislation allowing terminations in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. 19 voted against the bill. Mexico City is the capital of the world’s second largest Roman Catholic country and the Vatican had threatened to excommunicate those who voted in favour.
Chanting throngs of protestors from both sides of the debate gathered outside the building as the vote took place. Pro-choice and pro-life activists were separated by ranks of riot police. Opinion polls before the ballot suggested that public opinion over the issue was evenly split. Opponents of the law have vowed to challenge it in the country’s Supreme Court.