Decision means no woman can be prosecuted for having an abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
MEXICO, (September 08, 2021).- The Supreme Court (SCJN) has effectively decriminalized abortion across Mexico with a unanimous decision on Tuesday.
In response to a challenge to abortion restrictions in Coahuila, the court ruled that the criminalization of abortion is unconstitutional, setting a precedent for the legalization of early-term abortion in all 32 states.
Outside cases of rape and those in which an expectant mother’s life is endangered, abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is currently only legal in four states: Mexico City, Oaxaca, Hidalgo, and Veracruz.
Minister Arturo Zaldívar declared Tuesday a historic day for all Mexican women, especially the most vulnerable.
From now on, no woman can be prosecuted for having an abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy without violating the ruling of the SCJN and the Mexican constitution, Zaldivar said.
“From now on, a new route of freedom, clarity, dignity, and respect for all women and for all people begins,” he added.
“Today we take a step forward in the historic struggle for women’s equality, dignity, and for the full exercise of their rights,” the Minister continued.
Outside the court, pro-life activists condemned the court’s ruling, while feminist groups celebrated the decision online.
“Historic ruling!” reproductive rights group GIRE declared on Twitter.
Mexico, still a largely conservative nation with the second-highest number of Catholics in the world after Brazil, is now the most populous country in Latin America to decriminalize abortion.
President López Obrador, a staunch advocate for participatory democracy, previously proposed holding a referendum on the subject but on Tuesday morning backed the SCJN’s capacity to rule on the issue.