Pro-Life Christians Pray and Mobilize Against Mexico’s Decree …… | News and reports
The Mexican Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that punishing abortion was unconstitutional, unanimously overturning several provisions of a law in Coahuila, a state bordering Texas, which had made abortion a criminal act.
The ruling will only immediately affect only the northern border state, but it sets a historic precedent and “mandatory criteria for all judges in the country”, requiring them to act the same in similar cases, the president said. of the Arturo Zaldívar court. “From now on, you will no longer be able, without violating the criteria of the tribunal and the constitution, to indict a woman who aborts under the circumstances that this tribunal has found to be valid.”
These circumstances will be clarified when the decision is published, but everything indicates that these are abortions performed in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, a period allowed in the four states where abortion is already legal.
The move comes a week after a Texas law banning abortions went into effect once medical professionals can detect heart activity in the fetus. It allows any private citizen to sue Texas abortion providers who break the law, as well as anyone who “helps or encourages” a woman to undergo the procedure.
Only four Mexican states – Mexico City, Oaxaca, Veracruz and Hidalgo – now allow abortion in most circumstances. The other 28 states criminalize abortion with a few exceptions.
Mexico is a strongly Catholic country. The church was a powerful institution during colonial times and after Mexican independence, but a reform movement in the mid-19th century severely limited the role of the church in daily life. Anti-clerical efforts sometimes led to bloodshed, especially during the Cristero rebellion of 1926 to 1929.
The subject of abortion remains controversial in Mexico, however. The division was visible on Tuesday as groups from both sides protested outside the court.
Dozens of people knelt in prayer in front of the court. Pro-life Christian protesters seized rosaries, held blue balloons and posted signs with messages such as “Save both lives”.
The conservative Action Nationale party reiterated its opposition to abortion. “We are in favor of defending life from conception until natural death,” the party said in a statement. He called for conscientious objection to be protected “on ethical, moral or religious grounds”.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Morena party refused Tuesday before the decision to comment on the matter, saying only that it was for the court to decide. Lopez Obrador describe himself as “a Christian in the broadest sense of the word”, refusing to offer more specific services when asked about his Protestant or Catholic ties.
The Mexican Episcopal Conference sent a series of messages via Twitter citing previous comments from church leaders. One of them dates back to the beginning of the year before a vote decriminalizing abortion in the state of Hidalgo. “May your decision for life not be conditioned by ideology, but rather motivated by faith, hope and love,” we read.
“We are considered as a Catholic people, as a Guadalupano people,” said Leticia Bonifaz, professor of law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “But if you notice it today, the issue being debated is legal, not religious, not moral.”
Bonifaz said this Supreme Court is more liberal than the one that decriminalized abortion in Mexico City in 2007. In the meantime, there has been extensive training not only for judges, but also for the lawyers who make up their teams. from a gender and human rights perspective, she said.
Lawyer and activist Verónica Cruz, director of the collective “Las Libres”, or “The Free”, said the decision “broke down barriers” by sending the message that women cannot be accused of abortion.
There are currently no women jailed for abortion in Mexico, but there are some 4,600 investigations opened for it, said Cruz, whose organization released the last women who had been jailed for it.
For a long time, important changes for Mexican society were introduced through the legislature, but more recently the “Mexican justice system has been a pioneering justice system on many issues,” Bonifaz said.
The landmark case seemed to leap into public consciousness overnight, but in reality it had been operating in the justice system for four years, Bonifaz said. Former Attorney General Raúl Cervantes challenged its constitutionality before stepping down in 2017.
In previous decisions, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of women imprisoned or whose rights have been violated for abortion. But Rebecca Ramos, director of the non-governmental reproductive rights group GIRE, said the latest case was the first time judges had debated the fundamental question of whether or not abortion should be considered a crime.
The decision could potentially open another option for Texas women seeking a legal abortion. For years, some South Texas women have crossed the border to Mexican pharmacies to buy misoprostol, a pill that is half the two-drug combination prescribed for medical abortions. Legal abortions may become accessible now along Mexico’s long shared border with Texas.