In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court passed a ruling in the famous Roe v Wade case that made abortion legal in all 50 states.
Since that time, individuals, religious groups and legislators have tried to limit the access women have to obtain an abortion. When the leaked memo signed by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was made public recently, this issue came to the forefront again.
The story is different in Mexico. In an unanimous 10 to 0 ruling in September 2021, Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized abortion in the states of Coahuila and Sinaloa.
The effects of these rulings are broader in Mexico since it sets a federally binding precedent: Judges cannot sentence people to jail for either having or assisting in induced abortions, even if local legislative bodies have not changed their criminal laws. The Mexican Supreme Court also established that local rules granting protections of “life from conception” were invalid—and that access to legal abortions is a fundamental right.