A court in Mexico on Tuesday examined the abortion ban in the northern state of Coahuila. The state penal code stipulated up to three years in prison for women who had an abortion and those who provided the service. The judges unanimously decided that the right of women to reproductive freedom should not be ignored in the protection of life to be born and lifted the respective prohibition. Thus, abortions in the early stages of pregnancy, rapes, which endanger the health of the pregnant woman or a fetus unable to live will not be punishable in the future.
The ruling is effective immediately, but for the moment only in the state of Coahuila. However, the decision set a national precedent and “binding criteria for all judges in the country,” said court president Arturo Zaldivar. Judge Luis María Aguilar, among others, welcomed the decision promoting it as a “historic step for women’s rights.” This makes Mexico the most populous country with a Catholic majority in which abortion is decriminalized.
Mexican suffragettes welcomed the verdict and said it would likely have an impact far beyond Mexico. In most other Latin American countries, which are also Catholic, abortions are only allowed in exceptional cases. They are only legal in the smaller states of Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana, and French Guiana.
The Mexican court’s move comes just days after a strict new abortion law went into effect across the border from the United States in the state of Texas. The so-called heartbeat law prohibits abortions as soon as a heartbeat is detected in the fetus, which usually happens after the sixth week of pregnancy. The only exception is medical emergencies.
The controversial law was the subject of harsh criticism from abortion advocates. Among other things, they argue that many women in this early stage of pregnancy do not even know they are pregnant. US President Joe Biden also reacted outraged to the new regulation, describing it as unconstitutional. Despite massive criticism, the US Supreme Court initially rejected an urgent motion to suspend the law.
More about the subject – UN Human Rights Activists Criticize Texas Abortion Law: Discrimination “At Its Worst”
(rt / dpa)