Sep 11, 2021 06:00 UTC
Sep 11, 2021 at 06:00 UTC
Mexico’s Top Court Declares Criminalizing Abortion Unconstitutional
Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ruled that the total criminalization of abortion is unconstitutional.
The unanimous decision from a bench of 10 judges invalidated Article 196 of the Penal Code of Coahuila. Article 196 provided that pregnant people who underwent elective pregnancy termination, or people that caused a pregnant person to have an abortion without the pregnant person’s consent, could face up to three years imprisonment. The court found that this provision violated pregnant persons right to exercise reproductive autonomy.
The court moreover invalidated Article 199 of the Penal Code of Coahuila, which made abortion a criminal offence and limited the availability of abortion procedures to cases involving rape, insemination or artificial implantation for up to 12 weeks gestation.
The court ruled that the invalidation of Articles 196 and 199 of the Penal Code of Coahuila is retrospective, i.e. people who have been imprisoned for abortion will be released immediately.
It is the first time the court has ruled pregnant people can exercise reproductive autonomy without facing criminal sanctions.
Therefore, both federal and local courts in Mexico will be bound by the top court’s decision, which reaffirms that the court’s “only commitment is with the Constitution and with the human rights that it protects.”