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Mexico SC decriminalises abortion across nationwide

New Delhi: Supreme Court of Mexico decriminalized abortion in the conservative Latin American country, a sharp contrast to the United States where federally guaranteed abortion rights were overturned last year. The head of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldivar said,"In cases of rape, no girl can be forced to become a mother - neither by the state nor by her parents nor her guardians."

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Supreme Court of Mexico decriminalized abortion in the conservative Latin American country, a sharp contrast to the United States where federally guaranteed abortion rights were overturned last year. The head of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldivar said,”In cases of rape, no girl can be forced to become a mother – neither by the state nor by her parents nor her guardians.”

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“The federal penal code penalizing abortion is unconstitutional because it violates the human rights of women and people of childbearing potential,” the court said on social media.This follows a similar Supreme Court ruling two years earlier that made abortion not a crime, in fact authorizing it throughout Mexico.

The move has been hailed by women’s rights groups, but is likely to anger conservative politicians and Mexico’s Catholic Church. That announcement followed a constitutional challenge to the penal code of the northern state of Coahuila, opening the way for women across the country to access the process without fear of prosecution.

The Group for Information on Reproductive Choice (GIRE), which campaigns for abortion rights, welcomed the latest move to decriminalize abortion nationally. The group said on social media, “Federal health institutions across the country must provide abortion services to women and people of childbearing potential who request it.”

Mexico’s reforms go in the opposite direction to those of the United States, where a Supreme Court ruling in June 2022 overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision that guaranteed abortion rights nationwide. This situation has led to some women in the United States seeking help for abortions from workers across the border in Mexico. A dozen of Mexico’s 32 states have previously decriminalized abortion, starting with Mexico City in 2007.

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