Mexico's Supreme Court Votes to Decriminalize Abortion | 22 Words

In a news story that shook the world, Mexico has decriminalized abortion. This is a groundbreaking decision as Mexico is the world's second-biggest Catholic Country where abortion is frowned upon and denounced.

They join only thirty-seven percent of the countries of the world that have also decriminalized abortion.

The vote comes as a powerful women's movement is transforming Mexico.

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​Mexico's supreme court voted Tuesday to decriminalize the process, making a striking step in a country where the large majority of the population is in support of the Catholic faith, which reputably denounces abortion.

Female politicians now make up half of the National Congress. This came after an ambitious constitutional reform passed in 2019 which aimed o ensure gender equality in senior government positions.

While abortion remains illegal in most of Latin America, there has been a surge in demonstrations demanding more rights for women, particularly focusing on the rising violence in these countries.

Melissa Ayala, coordinator of litigation for the Mexican feminist organization GIRE described the enormity of this new law passing: "This will not only have an impact in Mexico; it will set the agenda for the entire Latin American region."

Four countries in Latin America allow abortion under virtually all circumstances in the early stages of pregnancy: Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, and Guyana.​

The Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that penalizing abortion is unconstitutional.

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Arturo Zaldivar, president of the Mexican Supreme Court, called the decision "a watershed moment" for all women, especially the most vulnerable.

However, the trouble still remains for some as hundreds of Mexican women have been prosecuted for abortion, while at least several dozen remain in prison.

A handful of anti-abortion protesters prayed and demonstrated outside the supreme court Tuesday as the justices wrapped up their second day of arguments.

The conservative National Action Party also rejected the court's arguments. "We are in favor of defending life from the moment of conception until natural death," it said in a statement.

Mexico's left-wing president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has carefully avoided taking a stand on the matter, as he did again on Tuesday morning in the run-up to the ruling.

Four of Mexico's 32 federal entities have broadly legalized the procedure — Oaxaca, Veracruz, Hidalgo and Mexico City. Abortion has also been available to women who became pregnant through rape.

A handful of anti-abortion protesters prayed and demonstrated outside the supreme court Tuesday as the justices wrapped up their second day of arguments.​

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The conservative National Action Party also rejected the court's arguments. "We are in favor of defending life from the moment of conception until natural death," it said in a statement.

The news comes as a number of US states have moved to restrict access to abortion particularly in Florida and Texas, where just last week there was a sweeping ban for abortions to not be permitted to any woman pregnant after 6 weeks.

Republican leaders in at least seven states are considering copying it. The Guttmacher Institute said recently that more abortion restrictions had been enacted by U.S. states in 2021 than in any year since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.