The Supreme Court of Mexico yesterday unanimously ruled that imposing penalties for performing abortions is illegal. Arturo Zeldiver, The President of the Supreme Court of Mexico, called the decision a historic precedent for all women. President of Mexico, Anders Manuel López Obrador, Refused to comment on the tribunal’s decision and called for respect for the ruling.
In its ruling, the court overturned several sections of the law against abortion that applied in the state of Covilla de Zaragoza, in northeastern Mexico. Following this, the state of the province announced that the ruling would have retroactive effects and that any woman imprisoned for abortion should be released immediately. Carla Chihatl, a local social activist, said after the decision that “this move has broken the stigma, but still needs to change the social aspect”.
This ruling joins a law approved last January in Argentina that allows abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. In the past, Argentina allowed abortions only in the case of rape, incest, or life-threatening.
On the other hand, about a week ago, a new law came into force in Texas that prohibits abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy. Under the new law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, doctors are prohibited from performing abortions if they have identified a “fetal heartbeat for the unborn child,” unless it is an emergency.
The law also stipulates that it is not the state authorities that will act against doctors and clinics, but the citizens. Thus, they will be able to file civil lawsuits against those who perform or assist in abortions, and the compensation for each abortion can be at least ten thousand dollars. Consequently, in Mexico it is estimated that the local ruling may lead to American women deciding to come to the country to perform an abortion.
Mexico is one of the largest Catholic countries, with over 80 percent of the country’s population being Catholic. Over the years, hundreds of Mexican women, mostly poor, have been prosecuted for abortion and several dozen are still incarcerated in prisons.