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  • A woman takes to the streets to protest against the criminalization of abortion. February 26, 2019.

    A woman takes to the streets to protest against the criminalization of abortion. February 26, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @Lideres_Provida

Published 26 July 2020
Opinion

According to government figures, abortion is the third cause of death among women in the region. 

Mexico's Supreme Court next week will evaluate a bill that claims for decriminalization of abortion on a historic day that may allow the voluntary pregnancy termination to be recognized as a right

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Mexico: Oaxaca State Legalizes Abortion in Historic Move

If the Supreme Court approves the bill, it would be established, for the first time in the country’s history, that criminalising abortion violates women’s rights. 

“The prohibition of the voluntary interruption of a pregnancy is a barrier that creates discrimination against women,” said Juan Luis Gonzalez, the a Supreme Court judge, who filed the challenge. 

Also, "abortion criminalization violates the women's right to access a safe health system," Gonzalez added. 

On July 29, 2020, five judges will discuss the bill. If three of them approved the project of law, the legislature of Veracruz will be allowed to change its criminal code and fully legalize abortion. 

Although the challenge only refers to the state of Veracruz, it could open the door to legal abortion in other cities across Mexico. 

The current penal code in Mexico refers to abortion in six articles. It establishes a penalty of one to three years in prison for anyone who helps a woman interrupt her pregnancy. 

If the abortion is performed with the woman's consent, the penalty is between three and six years in prison. If it is performed by a doctor or surgeon, apart from imprisonment, they would be disqualified from exercising their profession from two to five years. 

Abortion laws in Mexico are enacted at the state level. In Mexico City and Oaxaca, abortion is fully legal until 12 weeks of pregnancy. The 29 remaining states have yet to decide on the full legalization of abortion.

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