Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that criminalizing abortion is unconstitutional. This is reported by international news agencies. The ruling does not yet make abortion legal in the Roman Catholic country, but it does mean that women who terminate their pregnancy can in principle no longer be punished for it. So far, abortion is only allowed in Mexico City and four of its 31 states.
The lawsuit before the court concerned an abortion law in the Mexican state of Coahuila, which borders Texas, where abortion laws have recently been tightened. The law in Coahuila is now being repealed. The ruling means that judges in the rest of Mexico can no longer impose sentences on women who have terminated their pregnancy. Supreme Court President Arturo Zaldivar speaks of a “turning point” for all women, especially the most vulnerable.
According to Reuters, hundreds of Mexican women have been prosecuted for having abortions, mostly vulnerable women from poor backgrounds. Dozens of them are serving prison terms. It is unclear whether today’s ruling will change their situation. A growing group of feminist activists has been demonstrating against abortion rules in Mexico for some time now. The theme also plays a role in South American countries. In Argentina, abortion was legalized late last year.