The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) started this Monday the debate on abortion and the criminal codes that punish the interruption of pregnancy. The magistrates have begun to discuss three actions of unconstitutionality regarding abortion in the laws of Coahuila and Sinaloa, and about the right to conscientious objection of health personnel. On Tuesday, the members of the Court will begin voting on the bills that favor the unconstitutionality of the criminalization of abortion.
Minister Luis María Aguilar’s project for the case of Coahuila, presented in this Monday’s session, proposes to decriminalize the articles that criminalize abortion at any stage of pregnancy. During his presentation, Aguilar pointed out that motherhood is a choice and should not be a destination. “It is not a question of a right to abortion, but of the right to decide of women and people with the capacity to gestate to decide on their body and their life to be or not to be a mother without penalizing her.”
It is a study of the unconstitutionality of the law from the novel perspective of sexual and reproductive freedom. “The unconstitutionality action would force the Congress of Coahuila to reform its penal code,” explains the director of GIRE, Rebeca Ramos. In the case of Coahuila, the law punishes the crime of abortion with penalties of one to three years in prison. For the unconstitutionality action to take effect, a qualified majority in Court is needed, eight votes out of 11.
In the case of Sinaloa, Minister Alfredo Gutiérrez proposes to declare unconstitutional the absolute prohibition of abortion made by the state Executive power when declaring the protection of life from the beginning of conception. Gutiérrez explains in his project that the States cannot use the pretext of the clauses for the protection of life to deny people sexual and reproductive health services, nor adopt legislation to toughen the rules on the legal interruption of pregnancy.
In the case of conscientious objection, it is intended to invalidate Article 10 Bis of the General Health Law, which incorporated conscientious objection as a mechanism for health personnel to refuse to perform an abortion. The proposal was an initiative of the Social Encounter Party (PES), of an evangelical nature. Minister Aguilar points out in his proposal that conscientious objection cannot be considered a right without limits since, as stipulated in the legislation, it cannot be exercised if the life of the patient is at risk or it is a medical emergency.
“With this discussion, the Court advances and says that the freedom that local congresses have is limited by the human rights recognized in the federal Constitution, among them, Article 4, which talks about the right to decide freely, responsibly and informed about the number and spacing of their children, ”adds Ramos. The director of GIRE believes that if these unconstitutional actions go ahead, an important precedent would be set in Mexico that opens the door to expedite the decriminalization of abortion throughout the country.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.