In a landmark ruling, Mexico’s Supreme Court declared anti-abortion laws unconstitutional. But it’ll take mass organizing and legislative victory to cement reproductive rights in the country.
BY KURT HACKBARTH
On September 7, the Mexican Supreme Court struck down a law from the State of Coahuila which penalized having or performing an abortion with one to three years of prison. In doing so, it took a historic step: in a unanimous ruling, it proceeded to declare the criminalization of abortion in general to be unconstitutional. “Never again must a woman or a person capable of gestating be criminally judged,” said Justice Luís María Aguilar, author of the ruling. “Today the threat of prison and the stigma that weighs on people who freely decide to interrupt their pregnancy are removed.”
In their concurring opinions, other members of the court were surprisingly frank about the grounds for their decision. “[T]he reasons that lead a woman to abort, the conditions of secrecy and insalubrity some are forced into, the consequences for their physical and mental health… produce unimaginable human suffering, especially for women who live in economic and social marginalization,” wrote the president of the court, Justice Arturo Zaldívar. “It is a crime that, in practice, punishes poverty.”
by Paulina Ponce, Program Officer, Planned Parenthood Global
8 September 2021
CWRSA Blog (republished by International Campaign for Safe Abortion)
Over the past five years, Ecuador has seen marked change. For the first time in the country’s history, Ecuador’s legislature supported an earnest and public debate on the importance of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape during the criminal code reforms in 2019, and shortly thereafter, Ecuador’s highest court ruled that to criminalize abortion in cases of rape was unconstitutional.
This life-changing court ruling opens up the possibility for all women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence to freely access an abortion, if they choose, and marks a milestone in the fight for access to legal abortion in Ecuador. Even more importantly, women’s organizations prompted a shift in the way abortion is discussed in the media, what we call the “social destigmatization” of the right to choose.
By Mary Beth Sheridan and Alejandra Ibarra Chaoul
September 7, 2021
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s supreme court voted unanimously on Tuesday to decriminalize abortion, a striking step in a country with one of the world’s largest Catholic populations and a move that contrasts sharply with tighter restrictions introduced across the border in Texas.
Eight of the 11 supreme court judges had expressed support for decriminalization in arguments that began Monday, making the decision virtually inevitable.
September 7, 2021
MEXICO CITY, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Mexico's Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Tuesday that penalizing abortion is unconstitutional, a major victory for advocates of women's health and human rights, just as parts of the United States enact tougher laws against the practice.
The court ruling in the majority Roman Catholic nation follows moves to decriminalize abortion at state level, although most of the country still has tough laws in place against women terminating their pregnancy early.
AUGUST 30, 2021
After years of advocacy by women’s rights groups, the Government of Nepal has agreed to decriminalize abortion and protect the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls. Nepalese law students Smriti Phuyal and Smriti Pantha from NLU Delhi and Kathmandu University School of Law file this exclusive report for JURIST from Kathmandu.
The move began when the Center for Reproductive Rights and its Nepal-based partners made a compliance report for the Universal Periodic Review (“UPR”) focusing on the barriers to safe abortion services in Nepal and its impact on the sexual and reproductive health rights of women.
Varshunn Bhan Miskeen & Aditya Pandey
August 7, 2021
With the Constitutional Court of Ecuador passing the verdict of decriminalizing abortion in all instances of rape, Ecuador has joined the group of countries who have decriminalized abortion in selective cases. The passing of this verdict has allowed the Ecuadorian women who had been raped and wanted abortion, to no longer be penalised for their actions. The judges of the Ecuador Constitutional Court had decriminalized the two articles with the ratio of 7 against 2 in favour of the verdict. Before, the law only allowed for this procedure only in the instance of critical risk to woman’s health or if a raped woman had a mental disability. Abortion under the two selective conditions has been legal since 1938.
While Nepal had legalised abortion in 2002, it remains a matter under criminal law
August 07, 2021
Following the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Nepal has accepted a recommendation from France that the country decriminalise abortion and completely protect the rights and sexual and reproductive health of women and girls.
"This is a key milestone in our efforts to decriminalise abortion and advance reproductive rights as human rights around the globe," said Prabina Bajracharya, the Centre for Reproductive Rights’ Capacity Building Manager for Asia. "We look forward to working with our partners and government officials in Nepal to ensure these recommendations are fully and effectively implemented."
July 20, 2021
By Daina Beth Solomon
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's southeastern state of Veracruz will become the fourth state in the predominantly Roman Catholic country to clear away criminal penalties for elective abortion after lawmakers on Tuesday voted to decriminalize the procedure.
The initiative to allow abortions by choice passed in a 25-13 vote with one abstention, Veracruz's Congress said in a statement.
BY KEVIN SCHEMBRI ORLAND, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted May 27, 2021
VALETTA, Malta (AP) — A proposal to decriminalize abortion in Malta has stirred up a polarized debate on an issue long considered taboo in the country with the strictest abortion laws in the European Union.
Independent lawmaker Marlene Farrugia caught many by surprise this month when she presented a bill in Parliament calling for the removal of paragraphs in the criminal code that make it a crime punishable by up to three years in prison to have an abortion or assist a woman in having one.
Two weeks ago, I watched a debate organised by Malta Medical Students’ Association (MMSA). Under the theme of the legalisation of abortion, Doctors for Choice (DC) and Doctors for Life (DL) presented their cases. As you may have guessed from their names, DC are pro-abortion and DL are not.
In Malta, the law is adamant: any woman that tries to abort — and any practitioner that helps her — faces prison for up to four years. Yet 300-400 Maltese women travel abroad every year to have an abortion. Despite the law, many others buy illegal abortion pills and terminate their pregnancy on the island. According to DC, women facing complications will hesitate to seek medical help under the fear of being prosecuted.