Mexico decriminalizes abortions

Lazy eyes listen


Mexico’s Supreme Court has found that criminalizing abortion in the Federal Penal Code is unconstitutional and has abolished penalties for the practice statewide, in what women’s groups across the country are praising as a watershed decision.

The decision was delivered by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, two years after the same court ruled against abortion restrictions in the northern state of Coahuila, prompting numerous Mexican states and local governments to begin revising their penal codes.

According to the reproductive rights organization GIRE, the federal legalizing of abortion means that national health institutions will now be required to provide such services and will not be punished for doing so.

At the same time, abortion prohibitions at the state level still persist in around 20 Mexican states.

In an X (previously Twitter) post, the Supreme Court noted that laws that prohibited and punished abortions infringed the human rights of women and “people with the capacity to gestate.”

“In cases of rape, no girl can be forced to become a mother – neither by the state, nor by her parents, nor by her guardians,” stated Supreme Court Chief Arturo Zaldivar.

“Here, the violation of her rights is more serious, not only because of her status as a victim, but also because of her age, which makes it necessary to analyze the issue from the perspective of the best interests of minors,” he added.

GIRE, which brought the landmark lawsuit against the Mexican government, hailed the verdict as a triumph for its cause, claiming that “no woman or pregnant person, nor any health worker, will be able to be punished for abortion.”

Women’s rights activist Sara Lovera told the AFP news agency that while some sections of the country, such as Mexico City, have long decriminalized abortions, “many women don’t know they have this right” owing to a lack of information.

“That is why today’s Supreme Court decision is significant,” Lovera remarked.

Simultaneously, Mexico’s pro-life movements have stated that they will continue to oppose greater abortion access. Irma Barrientos, director of the Civil Association for the Rights of the Conceived, stated that her organization is “not going to stop.”

“Let’s remember what happened in the United States,” she said. “After 40 years, the Supreme Court reversed its abortion decision, and we’re not going to stop until Mexico guarantees the right to life from the moment of conception.”