Monday, September 20

Mexico decriminalizes abortion throughout the country after a decision of its highest court

The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) of Mexico has declared unconstitutional the criminalization of women who abort in the first stage of pregnancy and has recognized the right to decide in a historic ruling.

Unanimously, the ministers of the plenary session of the SCJN invalidated article 196 of the penal code of the northern state of Coahuila, which imposed from one to three years in prison “to the woman who voluntarily performs her abortion or to the person who causes her to have an abortion with her consent. “.

“There is no place within the jurisprudential doctrine of this Constitutional Court a scenario in which women and people with childbearing capacity cannot consider the dilemma of continuing or interrupting their pregnancy,” argued the project of Minister Luis María Aguilar.

Abortion, whose criminalization is a local competence, is only decriminalized in four of the 32 states of the country: Mexico City, Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Veracruz.

But now, derived from a challenge that the defunct Attorney General’s Office (PGR) made against the Penal Code of Coahuila in 2017, the SCJN declared unconstitutional the criminalization of women who have an abortion and that of health personnel who assist them with consent.

“The grip of the criminal law to punish those who voluntarily interrupt their pregnancy is not here a power available to the legislator, since human rights are at stake,” Minister Margarita Ríos-Farjat said Tuesday.

The ruling has been “historic” because it is the first time that the Supreme Court of Mexico “puts the right to decide at the center of the discussion,” according to Minister Aguilar.

“To think that penalizing the right of women to decide on their bodies is a solution that goes against the principle of minimal criminal intervention,” Minister Yasmín Esquivel agreed in the first session.

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