Mexico has ruled that women will have easier access to abortions from federal health clinics, making it much harder for doctors to refuse an abortion request. This is being celebrated by women’s rights groups across Latin America.
Criminal Penalties for Abortion are Unconstitutional
In a groundbreaking ruling, Mexico’s Supreme Court has declared all federal criminal penalties for abortion unconstitutional, setting a historic precedent for women’s rights.
The court’s decision mandates the removal of abortion from the federal penal code, compelling federal health institutions to provide abortion services upon request.
Supporters celebrate the ruling as a triumph for gender equality, extending Latin America’s current trend of expanding abortion access.
Although 20 Mexican states still criminalize abortion, the court’s decision will require judges in those states to adhere to the ruling. Yet, further legal action is necessary to completely eliminate penalties.
“Victory and Justice for Mexican Women!”
Social media platforms explode with joy as supporters laud the decision as a monumental victory for Mexican women.
Mexico’s National Institute for Women hailed the ruling as a significant stride towards justice, “Today is a day of victory and justice for Mexican women!” the organization wrote on X, claiming it a “big step” for gender equality.
Sen. Olga Sánchez Cordero urged Mexico’s Congress to enact legislation in response to the court’s ruling, calling the decision a step towards “a more just society in which the rights of all are respected.”
Despite the ruling, religious and anti-abortion groups continue to oppose expanded abortion access, vowing to fight for their beliefs.
“The Right to Life From the Moment of Conception”
The director of the Civil Association of the Rights of the Conceived in Mexico said, “Let’s remember what happened in the United States. 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.”
The Supreme Court asserted that the legal system criminalizing abortion in Mexican federal law “violates the human rights of women and those with the ability to gestate.”
This decision followed a two-year process of slowly decriminalizing abortion state by state, with Aguascalientes becoming the 12th state to drop criminal penalties recently.
While the ruling doesn’t guarantee immediate access to abortion for all Mexican women, it obligates federal agencies to provide care, potentially prompting broader changes.
By eliminating the federal ban, care providers in states where abortion is no longer criminalized lose a key excuse for denying access to the procedure.
More Liberal Abortion Laws
The ruling permits women with formal employment and social security access to abortion in federal institutions in states where it remains criminalized.
Latin American countries have been moving towards loosening abortion restrictions, reflecting a growing “green wave” of activism for abortion rights, referring to the symbolic green bandanas that women wear in protest.
While Latin America embraces more liberal abortion laws, parts of the United States are imposing stricter restrictions as the two countries differ in opinion.
Mexico’s Supreme Court decision could reverberate across the globe, influencing discussions about abortion rights and access in other countries.
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