On Tuesday, Mexico witnessed a watershed moment, as the states’ Supreme Court decriminalized abortion. The highest judicial authority declared criminal penalties on the same as unconstitutional.
It was historically a 10-0 unanimous decision by the court, and came as a major victory for women’s health and human rights advocates in the world’s second biggest Roman Catholic country.
It is in sharp contrast to recent stringent laws in United States against the act. Now, abortion cases cannot be prosecuted by the court in the country.
Delighted with the decision and terming it as a watershed moment for all women, Arturo Zaldivar, President of The Mexican Supreme Court said, “ It is one more step in the historical struggle for women’s equality, dignity and the full exercise of their rights”.
Abortion is permitted only in case of rape in majority of states in US. Before the ruling, Mexico city and 3 other states had legalized abortion, if performed in first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
In April 2007, the Mexico City, legislature passed landmark legislation decriminalizing elective abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Although the Mexican legislature has autonomy on law formation, they can not override Supreme Court rulings.
The Mexican ruling came as a follow-up to legalization of the right in Argentina, earlier this year.
Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus.