Mexico’s Supreme Court has voted unanimously to repeal a law in the state of Coahuila that allowed women to be imprisoned for three years if they had an abortion. NPR reports that this ruling could set the precedent for the country’s other 31 states to decriminalize abortion as well.
“This Supreme Court decision has legal ripple effects beyond the Mexican state of Coahuila and applies across Mexico,” Women’s Equality Center Executive Director Paula Avila-Guillen said.
“As of this moment, any Mexican state that criminalizes abortion is in direct defiance of the Federal Constitution. As of this decision, all Mexican states where abortion is still criminalized are obligated to modify their legal frameworks to comply with the standard set by the Court.”
Mexico’s decision to decriminalize abortion comes nine months after Argentina legalized elective abortion. Similar to Mexico, Argentina has a large Catholic population that was opposed to abortion.
“I promised to do this on election campaign days. Today, we are a better society that expands rights to women and guarantees public health, Argentine President Alberto Fernández tweeted in December.
Moves to decriminalize abortion comes just days after the state of Texas took steps toward criminalizing abortion after six weeks. In a statement, Avila-Guillen suggested that it may become easier to get an abortion in certain parts of Mexico than in Texas.
“The pro-rights ‘Green Wave’ is poised to take over the region and bring it to the 21st Century, even as we see the United States Supreme Court and Texas walk women back into darkness,” she told NPR.
“Could the safest way for Texan women to have access to a safe, legal abortion soon be to make their way to Mexico?”