The ruling was possible thanks to a previous ruling, in which the criminalization of voluntary termination of pregnancy was declared unconstitutional.
With four votes in favor and one against, the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico (SCJN) decriminalized this Wednesday the voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the state of Aguascalientes, considering that its classification as a crime in the entity’s Penal Code is unconstitutional. .
According to Animal Politico, the sentence was motivated by an amparo presented by several civil organizations that promote reproductive rights, and contemplates the explicit prohibition of criminalize women for abortionsto people with the capacity to become pregnant or to health personnel who accompany them in the process of voluntary termination of pregnancy.
It also establishes that the State must guarantee the exercise of the right to terminate a pregnancy – at will or for medical reasons – up to week 12, as well as the obligation to provide abortion service. For its part, the Congress of Aguascalientes must repeal the articles of the Civil Code declared unconstitutional, before the end of the regular period of sessions.
Right that extends
Aguascalientes will be like this the twelfth entity of the United Mexican States in approving the right to abortion. It was preceded by Mexico City, Oaxaca, Cohauila, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Baja California, Colima, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo.
It was the Cohauila case that motivated the pronouncement of the highest Mexican judicial authority, establishing the jurisprudence so that groups defending the rights of women and pregnant people could invoke the unconstitutionality of local laws through appeals for protection before the SCN, to obtain rulings guaranteeing the right to safe abortion.
Most of these decriminalizations occurred between 2021 and 2022regarding a historic ruling by the SCJN that declared the criminalization of voluntary interruption of pregnancy unconstitutional, which in most cases forced regional authorities to adapt their legislation so as not to contravene the federal ruling.
A long-term fight
Although various feminist organizations celebrated the resolution issued for Aguascalientes, In 20 of the 32 Mexican states abortion is still criminalized with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment.
Likewise, although decriminalization is a reality in 12 of them, the approved causes differ from each other and contemplate particularities contained in pre-existing local legislation.
This is explained because Mexico is a federated state, which gives regional parliaments ample room for maneuver to dictate their own laws, as long as they do not contradict the Constitution.
In such circumstances, each of the 32 entities that make up the United Mexican States has its own Penal Code, modifiable without the assistance of the central authorities, a factor that has operated both in favor and against the fight for the legalization of abortion.
Thus, although some states have chosen to uphold the SCN ruling, others have refused to do so and have even legislated to enshrine the right to life from the moment of conception.
Furthermore, although it is theoretically possible for the Congress of the Union to enact a law that guarantees the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy with national scope, the issue has been off the agenda of the current legislature and is not among its priorities.
Meanwhile, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has refused to make public comments about abortion, repeatedly ensuring that it is a decision that only concerns women.