Mexico's highest court declares abortion bans 'an act of violence' against 'pregnant persons'

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Mexico's highest court has declared abortion bans unconstitutional and ordered the legislature to change federal abortion laws to comply with its ruling. 

In a statement Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Justice, Mexico's equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court, announced that "the legal system that regulates the crime of abortion in the federal criminal code is unconstitutional because it is contrary to the right to decide of women and people with the capacity to bear."

Wednesday's decision comes after "a civil association challenged the legal system of the Federal Criminal Code that criminalizes abortion and the medical personnel who practice it."

The First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice agreed with the civil association that federal abortion laws violate "the right of women and people with the capacity to gestate to decide to interrupt or continue a pregnancy, which, in turn, is considered to violate the rights to free development of personality, to health, to equality and non-discrimination, and to reproductive autonomy." 

The decision, which calls on the Congress of the Union to repeal "the regulations that criminalize voluntary abortion," is the latest development in lengthy litigation over Mexico's abortion laws.

A district judge previously ruled against the civil association, saying it "lacked a legitimate interest to promote the trial." 

"The Collegiate Court revoked that decision after acknowledging that the plaintiff did have an interest in contesting the challenged regulations, since the defense of sexual and reproductive rights was part of its corporate purpose, therefore it reserved jurisdiction for this Highest Court to analyze if the crime of voluntary abortion was in accordance with the human rights of women," the statement continued. 

The top court ruled that the criminalization of abortion is "an act of violence and discrimination based on gender" because it "perpetuates the stereotype that women and pregnant persons can only freely exercise their sexuality to procreate and reinforces the gender role imposed by the maternity as a mandatory destination."

The First Chamber determined that suspending the medical licenses of those who perform abortions is unconstitutional, as is the requirement that medical professionals receive another doctor's opinion before performing an abortion. 

The ruling orders the Congress of the Union to repeal "the norms contained in the Federal Penal Code that criminalize voluntary abortion (self-procured or consented), before the end of the [current] regular session."

Wednesday's decision received swift condemnation from pro-life activists.

Kristan Hawkins, president of the pro-life advocacy group Students for Life of America, took to X Wednesday to react to the court's "tragic" decision. She stated, "True poverty is saying a child must die so you can live your life as you see fit."

Meanwhile, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America reacted favorably to the developments in Mexico.

"This historic decision to decriminalize abortion is a huge win in the global fight for reproductive rights and bodily autonomy," the pro-abortion advocacy group asserted in social media post

According to the Global Abortion Policies Database compiled by the World Health Organization, abortion was legal up to 12 weeks gestation in the Mexican states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Colima, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Mexico City, Oaxaca and Veracruz before Wednesday's decision. The Mexican state of Sinaloa allowed abortions up to 13 weeks gestation. 

Last week, the Supreme Court of Justice ruled the abortion ban in Aguascalientes unconstitutional. In 2021, the court invalidated a law in the state of Coahuila establishing criminal penalties for women who have abortions. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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