Mexican Supreme Court Confirms Legality of Abortion Law

Conscience, Summer 2008 | Go to article overview

Mexican Supreme Court Confirms Legality of Abortion Law


Despite stiff opposition from the church hierarchy in Mexico, the Mexican Supreme Court voted overwhelmingly to confirm the constitutionality of Mexico City's law allowing abortions. In the hours following the decision, we received the following letter from our colleagues in Mexico.

Dear friends,

We have just returned from a very emotional final vote in the full session of the Supreme Court, where eight of 11 justices declared the Mexico City law constitutional! We are absolutely thrilled! On this monumental day in Mexican history, we want our supporters to be the first to know about the triumph, in which the Pro-Choice Alliance undeniably played a role.

A large number of the justices based their votes on the concept that although the right to life is protected in the Constitution, it does not supersede other human rights, including a woman's rights to life, health protection, equality, freedom from discrimination, self-determination, sexual and reproductive freedom, bodily integrity, and privacy. Several justices mentioned the social aspects of abortion, but the strongest arguments were those based strictly on the Mexican Constitution and law.

Two of the justices who voted against the law's constitutionality made infuriatingly misogynistic remarks during their arguments. The Chief Justice based his arguments on the claim that women have access to contraception; implying that those who face unwanted pregnancy have no one to blame but themselves. At one point, he stated that forced maternity does not exist. Another claimed that pregnancy and motherhood is only a "light" imposition on women!

The legal importance of this decision cannot be underestimated, especially given the proportion of the majority. …

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Mexican Supreme Court Confirms Legality of Abortion Law
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