September 27, 2022

Unlike the Mesoamericans and as in Europe, the midwife in colonial Latin America did not enjoy a great reputation for authority until the middle of the eighteenth century. The Royal Court of Protomedicato tolerated it because doctors were not involved, because they considered obstetrics to be “derogatory” and even “disgusting.” There were men who were legally authorized by the practice of the profession and who were called “Romancist surgeons” because they had no studies in this regard. Similarly, midwives lacked formal instruction and some of their knowledge was based on ridiculous superstition (prayers, magic and amulets); but also in European, American (indigenous) and African traditions of very good therapeutic and hygienic quality (preparations, ointments, powders and temazcal baths). Some claim that obstetric training in New Spain began with the establishment of the Royal College of Surgery in 1768, while others mention that it was until 1804 in response to a general decree approved by Charles IV (the Royal Decree of May 6). This led to high mortality of women and children, especially towards the end of the viceroyalty. As a result, the Inquisition persecuted midwives for “quackery” or “witchcraft.” They have not only helped women in prenatal care, postnatal care and childbirth. They also helped pregnant women who wanted to end their pregnancy or tried to convince them not to perform such actions; They could even denounce them secretly so that the priests would intervene and avoid it. They believed that if a pregnant woman, out of shame, stopped asking for things she wanted, and no one fulfilled those wishes, the abortion could be induced. It has also been said that astral constitutions, air, very cool places or excessive sexual intercourse during pregnancy can cause obstetric emergencies. Similarly, they recommended the use of the street (ruta graveolens), which since the ancient Romans would generally have contraceptive and abortifacient effects, although its effectiveness has never been proven. In addition, it is now known that it can be toxic. [141] [142] In some respects, the cultural heritage of medieval Europe did not differ significantly from that of pre-Hispanic Mexico. Thus, the new Hispanic society was also misogynistic, although women`s living conditions may be slightly better depending on the ethnic group to which they belonged.

Contraception and abortion have been kept top secret, so their historical remains are very weak or even erased. In any case, it is known that it was practiced by married, widowed and unmarried persons; Whether it`s “decent families,” sex workers, and even cloistered sisters. It has been used to “avoid shame and shame”, to conceive an illegitimate child and thus end up in a monastery, to avoid the need to marry in the impregnation of a “girl”, to avoid the separation of spouses in the face of evidence of adultery, to hide a break in chastity, to cover up sexual assault or simply as a therapeutic measure. It is believed that the term “bad birth,” which people sometimes used to refer to their offspring, acted as a euphemism about this procedure. In the 1920s, the intention was to “rebuild the nation,” which had been devastated by previous events. This is why the scientific and intellectual elite seeks eugenics and prophylaxis. Through measures to promote the health of mothers and children, but also others that are now reprehensible, such as the reduction of racial heterogeneity, the restriction of marriage or forced sterilization; He tries to “cleanse” society of the elements they believe to be “factors of delay and degeneration”. Feminists at the time agreed with some of these issues (only those related to granting more rights to women), and so they began to imbue themselves with the issue of abortion.

“Good manners” and the outdated vision of female roles: giving birth and raising are also back. Although they now have some legal advantages, motherhood will continue to be a patriotic and civic task that all Mexican women should perform. During Álvaro Obregón`s tenure, José Vasconcelos (Secretary of Public Education) and Rafael Alducin (founder of the newspaper Excélsior) founded May 10 as Mother`s Day in Mexico in 1922. Some authors, such as Marta Lamas, even point out that this strategy was aimed at curbing the demands of radical jurispatial feminism. It is also said that the pressure exerted against the ecclesiastical hierarchy by the political constitution of the United Mexican States (promulgated in 1917) was not really aimed at liberating the conscience of society, but at changing the center of gravity of Mexican public morality. Nevertheless, between 1926 and 1929 (under the government of Plutarco Elías Calles), the Cristero War broke out in the most conservative regions of the country, which again ended with an armistice. However, a significant part of the artistic elite prefers to transcend these paradigms and live outside of those paradigms that censor pleasure, eroticism and sensuality. This was the case of Carmen Mondragón Valseca (Nahui Ollin), Tina Modotti or Frida Kahlo. [150] [151] Unlike what happened throughout the country, in the federal district at the time, which was governed by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (formerly associated with the progressive left in The Mexican political spectrum), legal abortion was gradually liberalized. In the first place, also in 2000, the Robles law was adopted, so called because it was promoted by the head of government at the time, Rosario Robles Berlanga. The reform included new assumptions and reasons, as well as the definition that the Public Prosecutor`s Office would be responsible for approving the procedure if the pregnancy was the result of rape, thus dissolving the legal vacuum that had existed since 1931. Then, the PAN and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (with which it had formed an electoral alliance in the federal elections of the same year and with which it represented a third of the seats in the legislative assembly of the Federal District) jointly filed an unconstitutional lawsuit before the SCJN, which was decided a year later.

Thus, in January 2002, the SCJN confirmed its constitutionality by a simple majority of 7 votes (including openly Catholic ministers like Mariano Azuela and despite the threat of excommunication). Only 6 ministers, for their part, were in favour of granting the Public Prosecutor`s Office and not the judge permission to abort in cases of sexual assault, so this part was also ratified in practical terms. From there, the SCJN began to develop as a reformist institution in favor of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the current general constitution. [179] [180] [181] [182] In 1909, Prisciliana Mancebo, a student at the State Institute of Science and Arts (at the Faculty of Medicine of Oaxaca), presented and passed the appropriate professional examination to obtain the title of obstetrics. Her thesis was called “abortion”, focuses on spontaneous abortion before the beginning of the third trimester (before ectopic viability) and consists of 6 sections: introduction, definition, etiology, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. This document, which is kept in the General Archives of the State of Oaxaca, is the only vestige of the pre-revolutionary era. Unfortunately, other details of this person`s biography are unknown. [146] Again, this did not lead to automatic legalization throughout the country, as it is incumbent on the entities (and the Federation) to reform their legal systems. From now on, however, anyone who can be conceived in Mexico can terminate their pregnancy by their own decision in the early stages. Similarly, it obliges the legislative powers of entities that have not yet harmonized their laws, as well as the Federation, to always advocate the extension of new hypotheses and the approval of electoral abortion (to which feminist collectives and organizations have expressed that they will push for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to be the minimum limit).