© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Girls maintain inexperienced handkerchiefs throughout a protest in assist of authorized and protected abortion in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico, February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Picture


By Lizbeth Diaz and Laura Gottesdiener

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico’s Supreme Courtroom unanimously dominated on Tuesday that penalizing abortion is unconstitutional, a significant victory for advocates of ladies’s well being and human rights, simply as elements of the US enact harder legal guidelines towards the observe.

The choice on this planet’s second-biggest Roman Catholic nation signifies that courts can not prosecute abortion circumstances, and follows the historic legalization of the appropriate in Argentina, which took impact earlier this yr.

Arturo Zaldivar, president of the Mexican Supreme Courtroom, hailed the choice as “a watershed second” for all girls, particularly essentially the most weak.

The court docket’s ruling stemmed from a 2018 case difficult a felony regulation on abortion in Coahuila, a northern Mexican state which borders Texas, which has simply tightened its legal guidelines.

It additionally comes as a rising feminist motion has taken to the streets in Mexico to press for change, together with calls to finish anti-abortion legal guidelines on the books in a lot of the nation.

At an indication in Coahuila state capital Saltillo, girls sporting inexperienced bandanas to represent the pro-choice motion embraced and shouted “abortion is not against the law!”

“We’re very completely satisfied that abortion has been decriminalized, and now we would like it to be authorized,” mentioned 26-year-old Karla Cihuatl, one of many demonstrators, who belongs to the feminist group Frente Feminista in Saltillo.

“This step has damaged the stigma slightly. However I imagine that we nonetheless have to vary the social side.”

With some 100 million Catholics, Mexico is the biggest predominantly Catholic nation after Brazil. The Catholic Church opposes all types of abortion procedures.

Lots of of largely poor Mexican girls have been prosecuted for abortion, whereas no less than a number of dozen stay jailed.

Tuesday’s vote establishes a compulsory standards for all judges within the nation, making it not attainable to prosecute any lady who has an abortion with out violating the standards of the court docket and the structure, Zaldivar mentioned.

Coahuila’s state authorities issued a press release saying the ruling would have retroactive results and that anybody lady imprisoned for abortion must be launched “instantly.”

Quite a lot of U.S. states have moved to limit entry to abortion, significantly Texas, which final week enacted a sweeping ban on the process after the primary six weeks of being pregnant when the U.S. Supreme Courtroom declined to intervene.

The Mexican ruling could result in U.S. girls in states comparable to Texas deciding to journey south of the border to terminate their pregnancies.

In July, the state of Veracruz https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/mexicos-veracruz-state-votes-allow-abortion-joining-three-other-regions-2021-07-20 turned simply the fourth of Mexico’s 32 areas to decriminalize abortion.

Mexico’s leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has rigorously averted taking a stand on the matter, as he did once more on Tuesday morning within the run-up to the ruling.

When requested at a information convention for his opinion on abortion, he sidestepped the query, saying it was as much as the court docket.

“Due my presidential workplace, I can not expose myself to put on and tear, so I’ve to take care of myself, and that is fairly a controversial concern,” he mentioned.

Throughout his profitable 2018 election marketing campaign, he solid an alliance with a small political celebration based by Christian conservatives identified for his or her robust opposition to abortion.