The woman set to hold the top Cabinet post in the administration of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced Thursday that she will seek to decriminalize abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy in all of Mexico.
During an interview on Radio Formula, Government Secretary-designate Olga Sanchez Cordero said that she supports decriminalizing abortion during the first trimester because "women should not be deprived of that right."
Knowing that this is a highly divisive topic in Mexico, the former Supreme Court justice said she would seek out a "permanent dialogue" with Mexico's 32 state legislatures to address the issue.
Mexican federal law allows abortions when a pregnancy is the result of a rape or when the life of the mother is in danger.
Nevertheless, 18 states have set up legal protections for fetuses and the right to life from conception, while the other states have differing laws.
Mexico City is the state with the most progressive law, as the capital legalized abortion up to the 12th week in 2007.
"No one is encouraging abortions, which are often the result of rape, malformation or even honor. Carrying out an abortion is a very difficult decision for women," Sanchez Cordero said.
She noted that Lopez Obrador's leftist Morena party will have majorities in 22 state legislatures, which could help launch changes to decriminalize abortion nationwide.
Lopez Obrador, who won the July 1 election in a landslide, will take office on Dec. 1.