Back to Index

MEXICO: Birth control

The Catholic Church demands total sexual abstinence from its priests and no "unnatural" birth control from the faithful. In both cases, the success is limited. The conspiracy of silence on the infractions was broken surprisingly by Marta Sahagún, wife of President Fox; both had tried to remain on good terms with the Church despite their previous divorces. It is not clear what prompted her to go public on the issue of birth control.

Catholic bishops attacked her for advocating the use of condoms to prevent HIV infections, calling her comments "depraved," Agence France-Presse reported. Marta Sahagun called on Mexico's citizens to use condoms and to educate each other about safer sex. Two leading bishops denounced Sahagun for her comments. "In fact, many millions of people are infected with AIDS because of the propaganda surrounding condoms," said the bishop of Tlaxcala, Jacinto Guerrero. Under pressure from the Catholic Church, the political party headed by Sahagun's husband, President Vicente Fox, recently dropped language from its political platform calling for condom use to prevent HIV infection. The word "condom" had previously appeared in the party's manifesto.

Ronald Hilton - 5/20/03