Mexico – What Comes After Decriminalizing Abortion?

Mexico’s supreme court handed down a victory for reproductive health care. Translating it into increased access is a different story.

OCT 10, 2023

In 2019, Aurelia García Cruceño, an 18-year-old Indigenous woman living in Guerrero, Mexico, had a miscarriage. The bleeding was so intense, according to news reports, that she lost consciousness. When she woke up in a hospital bed, she noticed that her hands and feet were handcuffed. The Guerrero Prosecutor’s Office detained her for allegedly having ended her baby’s life. She hadn’t known she was pregnant.

Aurelia’s case is tragic, and it isn’t an anomaly. It demonstrates a series of interconnected failures between Mexico’s health and legal systems, which too often accept gender violence as the status quo. Time and again, these systems restrict women’s access to reproductive health care and education—and then punish them for the consequences of their lack of access, or for trying to seek it.