Mexico: Supreme Court decriminalises abortion

Meanwhile, Christian families take the street to demand the withdrawal of free textbooks that “make statements on sexual issues totally inappropriate for minors”.

Evangelical Focus

Evangélico Digital · MEXICO CITY · 07 SEPTEMBER 2023 · 16:00 CET

March for the decriminalization of abortion in Mexico City, 2021. / Photo: <a target="_blank" href="">Malvestida</a>, Unsplash CC0.,
March for the decriminalization of abortion in Mexico City, 2021. / Photo: Malvestida, Unsplash CC0.

The Mexican Supreme Court decriminalised abortion at the federal level, in a decision that extends its legality to the rest of the country, as other Latin American nations have already done.

Several conservative groups are already planning to organise mobilisations against the ruling.


Unanimous decision

The three ministers of the First Chamber of the court unanimously declared unconstitutional the section of the Federal Penal Code that criminalised abortion, taking “a further step” from the court's ruling in 2021, which declared the criminalisation of abortion unconstitutional.

With this amendment, all federal health institutions, which cover 70% of the population, are obliged to provide abortion services, Isabel Fulda, deputy director of the Information Group on Elected Reproduction (GIRE in Spanish), which brought the action before the high court, reports news agency Associated Press.


Still illegal in 21 states

The ruling does not cover 21 of the 32 states in the country where the state criminal codes on abortion have not yet been changed, but Fulda expects the court's decision will encourage lawmakers in those states to make the changes so that state health centres start performing the procedures.

“It's a matter of time before there is a ripple effect with what happened today”, the pro-abortion activist said.


“Unconstitutional as it annuls the right to decide”

The Supreme Court said rules criminalising voluntary abortion, whether performed by another person or self-provided by the woman, are “unconstitutional as they completely annul the right to decide”.

The judges say the criminalisation of abortion is an “act of violence and discrimination based on gender”. The suspension of doctors or midwives who perform abortions has also been deemed unconstitutional.

The Court stated that the Congress must repeal, before the end of the session following the notification of the ruling, the rules of the Federal Penal Code that criminalise voluntary abortion.

The resolution caused controversy in Mexico, a country with many Catholics and evangelical Christians where there is a strong social debate between pro-choice and pro-life groups.


Gender ideology in school textbooks

Another hot topic in Mexico is the inclusion of gender ideology in school textbooks.

Hundreds of parents marched to the Parliament building in Mexico City, shouting “I raise my children", to ask legislators to withdraw the free textbooks and stop the programs of the so-called “New Mexican School”, which they see as harmful because they aim to impose gender ideology and hypersexualisation on children and young people.

“They have a very serious ideological bias since they make statements on sexual issues that are totally inappropriate for minors of that age”, denounced Rosa María Morales, of the Frente Nacional por la Familia (National Front for the Family).

Parents, children and grandparents expressed their discontent at the imposition of these books, pointing out that the government has ignored the Court's order not to distribute them in schools.

A representative group led by Aarón Lara of Iniciativa Ciudadana (Citizens' Initiative) and Rodrigo Iván Cortés of Frente Nacional por la Familia (National Front for the Family) were received by parliamentarians from several parties, who pledged to give voice to their demands.


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