Mexico moves toward decriminalizing abortion following landmark ruling

While Mexico City had decriminalized abortion, it remained criminal at the federal level

By Angelica Dino
11 Apr 2024

A group of Mexican senators has initiated legislation to remove abortion from the federal penal code, a significant move following the Supreme Court's decision last autumn to decriminalize abortion at the federal level, the International Bar Association reported.

This legislative effort is a direct response to the Supreme Court's directive, requiring the Mexican Congress to align federal law with this landmark judgment. Historically, Mexico City and several other states had decriminalized abortion, but at the federal level, it remained classified as a criminal offense. The journey towards reform was advanced in 2021 when the Supreme Court, through a series of judgments, decriminalized abortion in the northern state of Coahuila. These rulings set a constitutional precedent, emphasizing that criminal penalties for abortion and restrictive measures like “expansive rights to conscientious objection” used to deny abortion services were unconstitutional.


Florida’s strict laws make Latin America a potential destination to get an abortion

WLRN 91.3 FM | By Helen Acevedo, Sergio R. Bustos
April 9, 2024

With the Florida Supreme Court upholding the state’s new stricter abortion ban, pregnant women in Florida — especially those in South Florida — may soon head to countries in Latin America, where several countries have legalized the procedure, a reproductive health expert told WLRN on Friday.

“We have something unique because we do have a population in South Florida that has a Latin American connection and that has cultural roots, family members and the language,” said Daniela Martins. “So it is very likely that we will see folks that do have that connection with Latin America now start to travel to Colombia, Mexico or Argentina for an abortion.”


U.S. abortion rights setbacks spark fears in Latin America

Concerns in Latin America that abortion rights could face setbacks similar to those in the U.S. are adding urgency to the protests planned for International Women's Day this Friday, Marina writes.

March 5, 2024
Marina E. Franco

Why it matters: Regions of Latin America already are some of the most dangerous in the world for people who wish or need to terminate a pregnancy.

Threat level: Abortion bans can jeopardize the lives of women in trauma situations where continuing the pregnancy puts a woman's life at risk. Last month, Adilka Féliz, a senator's legal aide in the Dominican Republic — where there is a full ban on abortion— died from complications after an emergency premature birth procedure. She had an unviable pregnancy but was denied an abortion, her mother says.


Inside the secretive network of pro-choice activists on the US-Mexico border

Restrictions on abortion are harsh in northern Mexico. But an ‘underground railroad’ is filling the gap in services

Dánae Vílchez, Verónica Martínez
21 November 2023

Alma (not her real name), a young Mexican woman, became pregnant unexpectedly in June 2021. She already had a child and had no plans to have another. But living in the northern border state of Sonora, she thought she had limited options. Abortion in Sonora is only permitted in cases of rape or if the life of the pregnant person is at risk – neither of which applied to Alma – and people can be imprisoned for up to six years.

Then, a friend told her a closely guarded secret. An ‘underground railroad’ of pro-choice activists could help Alma find a safe way to terminate her pregnancy in Hermosillo, the state capital.


Public healthcare in northern Mexico is dodging federal rules on abortion

Mexican law allows abortion for victims of rape – but state hospitals and politicians often stand in their way

Dánae Vílchez, Verónica Martínez
2 November 2023

Mexican federal regulations to provide emergency abortion services to victims of rape are being systematically flouted by state government health workers and law enforcement bodies in regions bordering the US, an investigation by openDemocracy and La Verdad de Juárez has found.

Federal regulations permit women and girls to have an abortion if they are victims of rape. But hospitals and police in northern Mexican states – where there is a growing rate of sexual violence and high prevalence of under-age pregnancy – stop abused pregnant women from taking control of their healthcare decisions, say medical sources and rights advocates.


How feminist groups in Mexico are aiding abortion seekers in the U.S.

“Getting abortion pills into the U.S. is not as much of a challenge as being safe online,” say abortion companions.

8 MAY 2023

Over the past 11 months, some members of Tijuana-based feminist organization Colectiva Bloodys y Projects have reported an increase in demand for their services. The organization provides information on at-home medical abortions and how to access medical abortion pills through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Crystal P. Lira, an abortion assistant at Colectiva Bloodys y Projects, told Rest of World that the recent surge in demand, to a great extent, has come from people based in the U.S.

According to abortion assistants at organizations like Colectiva Bloodys, this uptick coincides with the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last June, which had ended previous protections on abortion rights at the federal level. In 2021, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to punish abortion as a crime. Verónica Cruz, director of abortion assistance organization Las Libres, told Rest of World her group was now dealing with 200 to 300 calls from the U.S. every day.


Lesson from Latin America for U.S. abortion rights movement

Top jurists map out paths taken by Mexico, Colombia to landmark legalization rulings

BY Liz Mineo, Harvard Staff Writer
October 26, 2022

Mexico and Colombia recently legalized abortion in landmark rulings that offer a stark contrast to the Dobbs decision that overturned the right to the procedure in the U.S. A recent event at Harvard Law School looked at the three seismic legal shifts and produced insights that could, organizers say, yield lessons for the U.S. abortion rights movement.

Justices Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena of the Supreme Court of Mexico and Natalia Ángel Cabo of the Colombian Constitutional Court last week laid out the factors that led to the rulings in their respective countries in a panel on reproductive justice sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.


’I need an abortion’: The text that gets pills sent in secret

Leire Ventas, BBC News Mundo, Los Angeles
Aug 25, 2022

Anna*, 23, knew that she could not have another child. She also knew that she wouldn't get an abortion in Texas, where she lives, as the state has one of the strictest abortion laws in the United States.

So the mother of a four-month-old turned to social media to search for solutions. She found a number online, and sent a desperate text on WhatsApp: "I need an abortion".


A Catholic cartoon helps Mexicans reconcile faith with abortion rights

By Annalisa Merelli
Published August 5, 2022

Sister Juana Ilega and Father Beto work together in a parish. Both of them have Catholic faith strong enough to become the center of their existence, yet they don’t always see eye to eye on matters of morality or religion.

Father Beto is in line with mainstream Catholic doctrine. But Sister Juana is a feminist. She thinks the church should create more space for women, and interfere less with issues of sexuality and reproductive rights. To counter his positions, she uses the most powerful tool she has: scripture.


IN PHOTOS: Here’s how green became the colour of abortion rights

By Amanda Connolly, Global News
Posted July 6, 2022

From the streets of Poland to crowds in Argentina, Mexico and, most recently, the United States following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion rights protests have something in common: the colour green.

Green banners, snapping in the air. Green scarves, green bandanas, green shirts.