Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it is unconstitutional for conservative Latin American rights activists to convict abortionists.
A unanimous vote opens the way for women. Mexico Access to abortion without fear of prosecution and possible imprisonment.
“This is another step in the historic struggle for (women’s) equality, dignity and the full exercise of their rights,” said Court President Arturo Zaldiver.
“From now on, it will not be possible, without violating the standards of the court and the constitution, to prosecute any woman who has an abortion in a case that this court deems fit,” she said.
So far, abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is legal in Mexico City and three other states, while elsewhere, the practice was only allowed in cases of rape.
The announcement called for a constitutional challenge to the penal code of the northern state of Kohvalu, which borders the US state of Texas, which recently banned abortion six weeks later.
A court source said the ruling would affect the whole of Mexico, allowing women in states where abortion is considered a crime.
Alex Ali Mendez, a female constitutional lawyer and abortion expert, said women should ask (health services) for an abortion.
“When she refuses, she can go to a judge and the judge will order an abortion,” Mendez told AFP.
The states of Mexico have the sovereignty to rule their own laws, but only if they violate Supreme Court rulings that establish jurisprudence, such as Tuesday’s ruling.
The Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE), which campaigns for abortion rights, called it a “historic decision.”
“We hope that women and children across the country will have the conditions and freedom to determine their reproductive destiny,” she said.
According to the group, unsafe abortion is the fourth leading cause of maternal death in Mexico.
Two more Mexican states, Veracruz and Hidalgo, have made abortion a crime in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy this year.
Previously, abortion has been legal only in Mexico City since 2007, and in the southern state of Oaxaca since 2019.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador avoided questions about the issue at his daily news conference on Tuesday.
“It would not be wise to be a party” because it is a “controversial issue” and therefore the best thing was for the Supreme Court to resolve it, he said.
In other Latin American countries, abortion is legal in Uruguay, Cuba, Argentina and Guyana.
It is banned in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and is only allowed in certain circumstances, such as after rape or elsewhere, for health reasons.