Mexico’s Supreme Court Rules to Federally Decriminalize Abortion

The ruling represents a shift towards a society “wherein the rights of everybody are revered,” one lawmaker mentioned.

On Wednesday, Mexico’s Supreme Courtroom dominated to decriminalize abortion at the federal level, holding that nationwide legal guidelines prohibiting the process are unconstitutional. The ruling not solely orders that abortion be faraway from penal codes, however requires that federal public well being establishments provide abortion procedures.

“Right this moment is a day of victory and justice for Mexican girls!” Mexico’s Nationwide Institute for Ladies wrote on social media.

The choice comes two years after the court docket dominated that abortion is not a crime in Coahuila, a state on the Texas border. Whereas that ruling prompted a state-by-state strategy of decriminalizing the process, abortion was nonetheless criminalized in twenty Mexican states earlier than the Supreme Courtroom’s choice on Wednesday. These states will now must abide with the court’s order and decriminalize the process.

Former Supreme Courtroom justice Sen. Olga Sánchez Cordero celebrated the ruling, writing on social media that the court docket’s choice represents a “transfer in the direction of a extra simply society, wherein the rights of everybody are revered.”

Reproductive rights activists in Latin America have labored to develop abortion rights over the previous few years, with success in Argentina in 2020 and Colombia in 2022. “Globally, there’s an amazing development in the direction of the liberalization of abortion legal guidelines,” the Heart for Reproductive Rights notes on its website.

The reforms in Mexico and different Latin American international locations distinction considerably with developments in the USA, the place the federal Supreme Courtroom dominated final yr to overturn abortion protections nationwide. Mexico has since grow to be a safe haven for U.S. residents from Texas and different states who’re in search of abortion entry.

Verónica Cruz, an abortion rights activist in Mexico, told CNN that her group, Las Libres, is more and more receiving calls from involved Individuals who’re turning to Mexico for abortion entry. “It stunned me that Mexico goes ahead, and the USA goes backward,” Cruz said. “I by no means imagined that.”

The truth is, the U.S. is one of only four countries worldwide which have rolled again the legality of abortion. “The devastating regression on abortion rights in the USA makes the nation a stark outlier to the worldwide development towards liberalization,” the Heart for Reproductive Rights said in a statement.

Even earlier than the U.S. Supreme Courtroom rolled again the nationwide proper to abortion, some Individuals had been pressured to journey to different states — and even overseas — to entry abortion care. The Mexico Supreme Courtroom choice in 2021, which dominated that abortion was not against the law in Coahuila, got here only one week after Texas’s “bounty hunter” legislation took impact. The Texas legislation, which is presently being challenged in court docket, prohibits abortions of fetuses with detectable cardiac exercise and permits any non-public citizen to sue Texas abortion suppliers who violate the legislation, in addition to any one who “aids or abets” an abortion after six weeks of being pregnant.

“Earlier than September we might obtain 5-7 American girls monthly. After September, we acquired 7-10 per week,” Sandra Cardona, a reproductive rights activist in Mexico who helps run “Purple Necesito Abortar,” told CNN. “On the day of the Supreme Courtroom choice, we acquired 70 messages. And issues have continued like that, with out slowing down.”

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