Mexico Supreme Court rules abortion not a crime

International

FILE – In this Sept. 28, 2020 file photo, a woman holds a banner reading, in Spanish, “Legal, safe, and free abortion, legalize and decriminalize abortion now, for the independence and autonomy of our bodies,” as abortion-rights protesters demonstrate in front of the National Congress on the “Day for Decriminalization of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean,” in Mexico City. The Supreme Court of Mexico has on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, annulled several statutes on the northern state of Coahuila that criminalized abortion. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it is unconstitutional to punish abortion, unanimously annulling several provisions of a law from Coahuila — a state on the Texas border — that had made abortion a criminal act.

The decision will immediately only affect the northern border state, but it establishes “obligatory criteria for all of the country’s judges,” compelling them to act the same way in similar cases, said court President Arturo Zaldívar.

Only four states — Mexico City, Oaxaca, Veracruz and Hidalgo — now allow abortion in most circumstances. The other 28 states penalize abortion with some exceptions.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled in favor of women who had been imprisoned or had their rights violated for abortions. But Rebecca Ramos, director of the nongovernmental reproductive rights group GIRE, said this is the first time the justices have debated the fundamental question: Should abortion be considered a crime or not.

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