On Tuesday, Sept. 7, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) declared it unconstitutional to criminalize pregnant women who have abortions during the first stage of their pregnancy. The ruling is considered historic for the country.
After two days of debate, the decision was made unanimously.
Arturo Zaldívar, president of the Court, said that "from now on it will not be possible to prosecute any woman who aborts in the cases considered by this court." Furthermore, the decision is a "new path of freedom, clarity, dignity and respect and a great step in the historic struggle for equality and the exercise of their rights."
The court's decision opens the way for more abortion rights, a very unequal practice throughout the country, where only four of the 32 states have legislated on time limits. In most of the country, the practice is only allowed under certain rules such as a pregnancy that risk the mother's life, fetal malformations and cases of rape. However, this is not always fulfilled.
The decision of the Supreme Court was based on the autonomy of women to decide on maternity, beyond other concepts of prenatal life.
"To speak of an idea of life that surpasses the law and a Constitutional Court cannot base its decisions on particular and subjective appreciations, but universal," said Minister Margarita Ríos Farjat.
Minutes after the CSJN's decision was announced, the hashtags #AbortoLegalMexico and #EsLey trended on Twitter thanks to those who celebrated the law.
This decision finally came to life thanks to a case in the state of Coahuila, bordering Texas, where anti-abortion legislation has recently been tightened, which could lead women to cross the border to terminate their pregnancies.
What's still happening in Texas?
On Monday, Sept. 6, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the U.S. Justice Department will work to protect the safety of people seeking abortions in Texas as the agency continues to explore how it can challenge the new anti-abortion law recently imposed in the state.
"We will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services in accordance with our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act," the Justice Department said in a statement. The department will also provide support to federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is "under attack."
Discussing the announcement, Ana Rodriguez, Tea Fund campaign director told AL DÍA News that they are very happy about Attorney General's statements.
"We are very happy that at the federal level there is a talk in favor of abortion, because it is not correct to say that people do not support abortion at the local or state level. People support everyone making their own decision, but a lot still needs to be done at the federal level to restore this right," she said.
Rodriguez also affirmed that pro-abortion funds in the United States will continue to fight so, as in Mexico, in a few years, they can achieve laws that guarantee women their right to decide about their maternity without any barriers.