2021 a year of progress in the decriminalization of abortion in Mexico


Currently, there are six states that have advanced in the approval of the decriminalization of the termination of pregnancy,

2021 has been the year in which more states of the Republic have been painted green after the approval of the decriminalization of abortion up to 12 weeks of gestation.

There are currently six states that have made progress on this issue; however, 26 states still do not approve this issue.

On December 1, Colima became the sixth entity to decriminalize abortion up to 12 weeks, with a vote of 12 in favor, 5 against, and 4 abstentions.

With this, the state joined Mexico City, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Hidalgo and Baja California.

The initiative approved in Colima includes two circumstances for legal abortion: when an authority denies abortion to a woman prior to 12 weeks of gestation and when health personnel fail to inform her of her right to interrupt the pregnancy within that period.

The approved bill gave greater penalties to forced abortion, now they will be from 3 to 15 years in prison and a fine; The sanctions against health personnel who perform consensual abortions were eliminated, as well as the criminalization of pregnant people who are in danger of death or serious damage to their health, or due to serious alterations to the product.

In addition, with the approval of this initiative by the State Congress, the interruption of the pregnancy was guaranteed due to the conscientious objection of the medical personnel.

On October 29, the Baja California Congress approved a series of reforms to decriminalize abortion up to 12 weeks gestation.

The decision came after the vote of two opinions: one to reform the local constitution and remove the “life from conception” clause, which was not approved because it did not reach a qualified majority.

However, the second ruling, which reforms the Penal Code of Baja California, as well as the Victims’ Law and the Health Law that decriminalizes the interruption of pregnancy, up to 12 weeks, was approved by a simple majority.

Another entity that was painted green this year was Veracruz.

On July 20, the state Congress approved the decriminalization of abortion up to 12 weeks. The deputies voted the opinion in general and in particular with 25 votes in favor.

Days before, on June 30, the Hidalgo Congress had done the same with the initiative to reform the state Penal Code and the Health Law and allow the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy (ILE) at 12 weeks of gestation.

No more jail for abortion

On September 7, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) declared unconstitutional the criminalization of abortion for women and people with childbearing capacity.

This means that no judge can imprison anyone who decides to have an abortion.

The Plenary of the Court invalidated Article 196 of the Penal Code of the state of Coahuila, which imposed the penalty of up to three years in prison on the pregnant person who performed an abortion, or the person who helped him with his consent.

The presiding minister, Arturo Zaldívar, affirmed then that the decision not only invalidated the norms that were discussed but also established a “mandatory criterion for all judges in the country.”

Although he explained, it did not mean that abortion will be decriminalized in all entities, only those who decide to have an abortion will no longer be imprisoned anywhere in the country.

Another advance that was achieved in reproductive matters was on July 7 when the Supreme Court declared Article 181 of the Criminal Code of the State of Chiapas unconstitutional, which considers abortion in cases of rape a crime if it is requested after the first 90 days of gestation.

This, after analyzing the case of a minor with cerebral palsy who was denied the termination of pregnancy in Chiapas, despite the fact that she was a victim of rape.

Decriminalization yes, but pending

Despite the fact that Oaxaca became, in 2019, the second state to decriminalize abortion, which was punishable from six months to two years in prison, the reality for women in the state who want to interrupt their pregnancy has changed little.

Political Animal published that there are only two public clinics that perform it and without care for indigenous women

According to the Oaxaca Health Services (SSO), 962 medical units operate throughout the state, including mobile, fixed, first and second level, however, if a woman wishes to exercise her right to Legal Interruption of Pregnancy (ILE ) You can only do it in two places: the General Hospital “Aurelio Valdivieso” and the Women’s Clinic, both located in the state capital.

In addition to the stigma and moral and religious discourses they receive from the doctors they approach to request support, they are present obstacles, despite the change in the law.

This year, Mexico City marked 14 years since the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy (ILE) was approved until the 12th week of gestation.

From the legalization in 2007 to June of this year, 237 thousand 643 procedures of Legal Interruption of Pregnancy (ILE) have been carried out in the city.

Quintana Roo stops decriminalization of abortion

In contrast to the progress made this year, in March, the Congress of Quintana Roo rejected the ruling with reforms to decriminalize abortion.

The proposal stated that “Quintana Roo recognizes, protects and guarantees the right to life of every human being, except for the exceptions established by law”; however, he only obtained 7 votes in favor.

Source: animalpolitico.com

Mexico Daily Post