Social Issues

Pro-life demonstration held in Mexico ahead of Supreme Court abortion rulings

Mexico City, Sep 6 (EFE).- Mexican conservative groups demonstrated Monday outside the Supreme Court building in this capital in a bid to influence potentially historic decisions on abortion laws.

Holding signs with the message “let’s save both lives,” as well as religious imagery and rosaries, the praying demonstrators urged the high court not to hand down a pair of rulings that would declare abortion restrictions unconstitutional.

“We’re urging the Supreme Court justices to reject these (challenges to states’ efforts to limit abortions) … we trust that these justices are going to defend life,” Leticia Gonzalez-Luna, president of the pro-life group Voz Publica A.C., said.

The plenary of the Supreme Court on Monday will weigh the most far-reaching challenge to date in that country related to abortion, which is only entirely decriminalized during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in four of the country’s federal entities: the autonomous entity of Mexico City and the states of Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Veracruz.

Abortions are illegal elsewhere in Mexico, although there are exceptions throughout the country in cases of rape and when the mother’s life is in danger.

The legal challenge, derived from a measure that the now-defunct Attorney General’s Office (PGR) brought against the northern state of Coahuila’s criminal code in 2017, aims to make it unconstitutional for state governments to impose criminal penalties on women who choose to have an abortion or on medical personnel who perform that medical procedure.

The Supreme Court’s ruling would only invalidate that section of Coahuila’s criminal code, but if eight of the 11 justices vote to uphold the legal challenge they would set a precedent that would obligate judges nationwide to hand down similar rulings.

Pro-life groups, therefore, fear the possible implications of Monday’s decision.

Mexico’s Supreme Court already gave pro-choice activists a victory in 2008 when it ruled that a Mexico City law decriminalizing abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy was constitutional.

And in a unanimous ruling in July it ruled that it was unconstitutional to penalize women who became pregnant due to rape and decided to have an abortion after the first 90 days of their pregnancy.

Also on Monday, the Supreme Court is to rule that an amendment to the charter of the northwestern state of Sinaloa stating that life begins at conception is unconstitutional.

The court has said it does not consider “conception” to be a legal term and has warned about the implications of granting full legal rights to fetuses. EFE


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