Last updateFri, 15 Sep 2023 12pm


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Supreme Court knocks down federal abortion ban

The Supreme Courts of Mexico and the United States are heading in completely opposite directions following Wednesday’s ruling by this country’s most senior judges slapping down federal laws decriminalizing abortion.

pg14aAccording to many sources, the September 6 ruling means that all federal health institutions across the nation, including the IMSS, IMSS Bienestar and ISSSTE (for government employees), will be obliged to provide free abortion services to women who request them up to the 12th week of pregnancy.  While this may not happen immediately, it should become an option once the federal penal code is altered accordingly.

The ruling expands the September 7, 2021 landmark  Supreme Court decision that declared unconstitutional the criminalization of abortion in the state of Coahuila.

At that time, the judges also ruled that the voluntary termination of pregnancy was a constitutional right for all Mexicans based on the case of Coahuila, although states were still able to keep penalties for abortion on their statute books.

Up until then, only four states had decriminalized abortion. Eight more have since followed suit and abolished all penalties for abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy, with Aguascalientes becoming the 12th last week.

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