The comment by Héctor Alonso Granados, made during an Internet talk show interview, has been lambasted by women's groups and some members of his political party, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), as misogynist. Leaders of MORENA are looking to remove Granados, known as a vocal opponent of abortion, from his post.
A debate has been raging in the state about whether to decriminalize abortion. Granados says that a fetus is a person at 10 weeks.
"Why won't they recognize that they're asking the government, the taxpayer, to be responsible for their irresponsible sexual activity?" Granados said in the interview, according to Mexico News Daily.
Puebla laws call for prosecuting women who have abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The president of the Gender Equality Commission of the Puebla Congress has proposed an amendment that would downgrade the punishment for women who are convicted from a maximum jail sentence of a year to 3 to 6 months, or up to 300 days of community service.
After the backlash, Granados said in a video posted on his Facebook page that he was taken aback by the backlash as well as all the attention his remarks received.
He said he was "merely paraphrasing" a comment he heard someone else make.
But the lawmaker doubled down on his view that it was preposterous for women who engage irresponsibly in sex to expect the consequences to disappear, and at taxpayers' expense.
“Feminists want doctors, nurses, etc., paid for after irresponsible sexual activity,” he said.
Granados said he is not sexist, and said he has "a mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter."
The lawmaker said he would not resign, and noted that he has been elected four times and has a public mandate to fulfill.
"I have been an advocate of social services, of anti-corruption measures, I ask that people focus on that," Granados said in the Facebook video.
"Laws already allow abortion in cases of rape, the danger of death for the mother, or a defect of the product," he said. "I am opposed to the authorization of indiscriminate abortion."
Mexico Senator Martha Lucía Mícher assailed Granados for "not thinking before he speaks."
"The legal interruption of a pregnancy is a public health issue," she said, according to Hoy, a section of the Chicago Tribune. "Women die because of underground abortions, and the Mexican government has a duty to guarantee and safeguard women's lives and integrity."