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Analysis: Mexico’s abortion ruling may make waves past its borders

But the shockwaves despatched throughout the area by the court docket’s abortion ruling will probably be felt for years to return.

One girls’s proper chief consulted by CNN says the unanimous ruling, which discovered penalizing abortion to be unconstitutional, may make Mexico a vacation spot for ladies from the US — the place abortion was lately strictly restricted in Texas — and even a mannequin for different international locations in Latin America, a area that has not traditionally been pleasant to girls in search of abortion.

Mexico’s highest court docket had been requested to contemplate a legislation enacted within the northern state of Coahuila, which stated that ladies who get an abortion could also be punished with as much as three years in jail and a superb.

In a unanimous vote, the court docket declared the native legislation unconstitutional, a ruling that does not robotically legalize abortion within the nation, in response to analysts consulted by CNN. Pending instances should nonetheless be heard on the native degree and legal guidelines limiting abortion in states throughout Mexico are nonetheless on the books.

Mexico Supreme Court rules criminalizing abortion is unconstitutional

However, it units a strong precedent for the remainder of the nation, which the Supreme Court justices acknowledged as they took the choice. Ana Margarita Ríos Farjat, certainly one of solely three girls on the bench, additionally spoke forcefully in opposition to the Coahuila legislation earlier than casting her vote.

“I’m against stigmatizing those who make this decision [to undergo an abortion] which I believe is difficult to begin with, due to moral and social burdens. It shouldn’t be burdened as well by the law. Nobody gets voluntarily pregnant thinking about getting an abortion later,” she stated.

“Never again will a woman or a person with the capacity to carry a child be criminally prosecuted,” later concluded Justice Luis María Aguilar, praising the ruling as “a historic step.”

The ruling acquired excessive reward by girls’s and reproductive rights teams, however was blasted by conservatives and the Mexican Catholic Church. While the court docket appears to have decidedly moved to the left, the nation stays polarized. Mexican public opinion remains to be deeply divided on the difficulty on abortion.

Anti-abortion groups protest the Mexican Supreme Court ruling in Monterrey, the capital of northeastern state Nuevo León, on September 12.
Polling carried out earlier than the choice by nationwide newspaper “El Financiero,” confirmed that 53 p.c of Mexicans opposed the legislation permitting girls the suitable to have an abortion, whereas 45 p.c agree that Mexican legislation ought to enable the process.

This actuality was mirrored in interviews carried out by CNN the morning after the ruling was issued on the streets of Mexico City.

“A woman shouldn’t be deprived of her right to decide for herself and much less be incarcerated for something she decides about her own body,” stated one lady strolling on the centric Reforma Avenue, who declined to be named.

“I agree that women should do whatever they want with their body, but not on this issue. We’re talking about a human being. Things shouldn’t be done that away [by having an abortion],” stated one other who additionally declined to be named.

A a lot awaited day

On the day of the ruling, these in favor and in opposition to abortion had peacefully protested in entrance of the Mexican Supreme Court constructing. Some knelt and prayed, or held collectible figurines of fetuses up excessive, whereas others waved banners demanding secure and authorized abortions, which described their trigger as a “fight against a patriarchal society.”

The ruling is a blow to a lot of Mexico’s huge and deep-rooted Catholic group. Before it was heard, Bishop Jesús José Herrera Quiñones from the Nuevo Casas Grandes Diocese, issued a press release on behalf of the Mexican Episcopal Conference: “We would like to remind you all that a human being, conceived by a father and a mother, whose life begins at the moment of conception, should be recognized in his or her dignity in all stages of life and deserves the same protection under the law in the face of actions that could put this person in jeopardy,” Herrera Quiñones wrote.
Texas' abortion law is one of the most restrictive in the developed world
The day after the ruling, Eduardo Verástegui, a Mexican actor-turned-conservative-activist, criticized the court docket’s resolution in an emotional tweet pinned to his official account. “Mexico cries today. Mexico shakes today. It is raining unconsolably in several parts of the country and the Earth creaks. Today thousands of Mexican babies have been condemned to die. Mexico cries today; Mexico shakes for its daughters and sons that will never be born,” Verástegui wrote.

But historical past has been made. María Antonieta Alcalde, director of Ipas/Central America and Mexico, a girls’s rights teams that additionally advocates for reproductive rights, says the court docket’s ruling is the results of years of lobbying and advocating by organizations like hers with the aim of constructing abortion secure and authorized in Mexico.

“Even though the decision was expected, the positions of the different judges, how clear their message was and having a unanimous decision was something that we didn’t expect,” Alcalde stated.

She pressured that despite the fact that the ruling of the court docket applies to the state of Coahuila particularly, it sends a message to all of the states. Under Mexico’s federal system, states can enact their very own legal guidelines, however a ruling by the Supreme Court supersedes any native statutes.

Alcalde additionally stated the ruling can also have repercussions throughout the Mexican border, particularly in terms of Texas, the place controversial legislation that bars abortions after six weeks went into impact on September 1.
US Vice President Kamala Harris holds a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, DC on September 9.

“Texas is moving in the other direction. What could happen is that more Texan women may decide to travel to Mexico. It’s kind of the opposite of what used to happen. A lot of Mexican women used to travel to the U.S. to have a safe and legal abortion. What we will see in the future, especially if keeps the new law, is that some women from Texas may travel to Mexico to have a safe and legal abortion,” Alcalde stated.

Before the ruling, abortion was solely authorized in all of Mexico’s states solely when the being pregnant was the results of rape. In issuing her opinion, Justice Ana Margarita Ríos stated that — authorized or not — between 750,000 and one million abortions are practiced in Mexico yearly.

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The ruling may mark a turning level for the better Latin American area, which the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think-tank devoted to the evaluation of worldwide affairs within the Western Hemisphere, describes as “one of the most restrictive regions in the world when it comes to reproductive health laws and policies, particularly abortion.”

Abortion is solely prohibited in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Suriname, in response to a February evaluation by the group.

The identical evaluation notes that abortion is allowed in a number of international locations solely underneath strict situations — sometimes when the being pregnant is the results of rape, entails a deadly fetal anomaly, or poses a well being threat to the mom’s life — and is allowed “on demand” in Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana, French Guiana, and Argentina.

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