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AP Article ‘Explains’ Latin American Abortion Laws, Doesn’t Include Poll Showing Pro-Life Majorities

An Associated Press story reported on Latin American abortion laws without any mention of a Pew Research poll showing that most Latin Americans oppose abortion.

A reporter at the publication covered a Mexican pro-abortion march that took place Saturday in which protesters demanded that lawmakers decriminalize abortion throughout the entire country. In a story titled “AP Explains: Abortion rights in Mexico and Latin America,” the AP reporter covered the protest as an example of changing views on abortion.

The AP’s article listed numbers of abortions performed in Latin American countries and the number of complications that ensued from unsafe abortions — 6.5 million induced abortions reportedly took place in Latin countries and the Caribbean between 2010 and 2014 and 760,000 complications occur each year, the AP reported, citing information from the Guttmacher Institute.

Mexico City, Cuba and Uruguay are the only places in Latin America where women can obtain on-demand abortions up until 12 weeks, according to the AP. The southern Mexican state of Oaxaca voted to decriminalize abortion as recently as Wednesday.

The article does not include information from 2014 — the same year its abortion occurrence statistics time period ended — showing the majority of Latin Americans think abortion should be illegal, as outlined by the Pew Research Center.

The 2014 Pew Research center study found most Latin Americans were opposed to legal abortion: 95% of those in Paraguay, 92% of those in Guatemala, 89% of those in El Salvador opposed legal abortion.

On the lower end of the spectrum, 67% of those in Mexico, 49% of those in Chile, and 43% of those in Uruguay opposed legal abortion.

“The survey finds that across Latin America, men and women are about equally likely to oppose legal abortion, as are older and younger adults,” Pew Research Center reported.

Amy Guthrie, who reported the story for the AP, said she hoped Pew Research would update its poll soon.

“This line was in an earlier version of the story, but I see it got chopped in edits: The dominant faith in the region is Christianity, a religion that considers abortion to be a sin,” she added.

Some credit Latin American opposition to abortion to the Catholic Church. In Argentina, the Catholic Church’s grip on politics is stronger than even in Ireland, TIME magazine reported in 2018.

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