Mexican Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion in 'Watershed Moment'


Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) on Tuesday declared the criminalization of abortion unconstitutional, a historic precedent that prevents the imprisonment of women and medical personnel who assist them with consent.

"Never again should a woman or a person with the capacity to gestate be criminally prosecuted. Today the threat of imprisonment and the stigma that weighs on people who freely decide to terminate their pregnancy is banished," said Supreme Court Justice Luis María Aguilar, author of the bill.

Unanimously, the ministers of the plenary session of the SCJN invalidated article 196 of the Penal Code of Coahuila, a northern state, which imposed from one to three years in prison "to the woman who voluntarily performs her abortion or to the person who causes her to have an abortion with her consent".

"The criminal law basis for punishing those who voluntarily terminate their pregnancies is not a power available to the legislator here, since human rights are at stake," said SCJN Justice Margarita Ríos-Farjat.

Ríos-Farjat pronounced herself "against stigmatizing those who make this decision", warning that between 750,000 and 1 million clandestine abortions are performed in Mexico every year.

Source: Reuters

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