Mexico City: About 90 non-governmental organisations have urged the Mexican Congress to overturn the country`s anti-abortion laws that mandate jail terms of up to 40 years for women who terminate their pregnancies.
Eighteen state legislatures have passed anti-abortion laws in Mexico.
Some 100 activists have staged a demonstration here Thursday to press their demand.
Lawmakers in 18 of 31 Mexican states have approved different legal reforms seeking to guarantee the right to life from the moment of conception.
Elsa Conde, spokesperson for the Right to Choose group, said there is "much concern" in the country about laws that seek to "criminalize women for deciding what to do about their pregnancy, and penalise the use of contraceptives and abortion, even in cases of rape".
She complained that the Gulf coast state of Veracruz has modified Article 4 of the Mexican constitution so that it protects "life from the moment of conception until a natural death".
"We demand that federal lawmakers make a commitment to the secular nature of the Mexican state, to keep watch to make sure that federal and local governments guarantee the full use of sexual and reproductive rights, to legislate the decriminalisation of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, to veto the law passed by the Veracruz legislature," Conde said.
The Mexico City is the only place in the country to have formally decriminalised abortion.