Global Health Justice

September 15, 2023

Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion nationwide

By Henry Noble

¡Victoria! Wave High the Green Bandanas!

Years of concerted action by reproductive rights activists in Mexico have just gained a huge win. “Today is the day of victory and justice for Mexican women!” declared Mexico’s National Institute for Women. “No woman or pregnant person, nor any health worker, will be able to be punished for abortion,” proclaimed the Information Group for Chosen Reproduction, GIRE, which filed the suit.

The judgment means that the country’s federal public health service and any federal health institution must offer abortion to anyone who requests it.

The Supreme Court reviewed a law from the state of Aguascalientes but the ruling extends to the entire country. It declares, “The [anti-abortion] law is unconstitutional because it violates the human rights of women and people with the ability to gestate.” 

This sweeping decision comes amid a trend in Latin America of loosening restrictions on abortion, even as access has been limited in parts of the United States. It gives heart to feminists in the US and other countries who are working to overturn similar anti-abortion laws. Helen Gilbert, coordinator of the US-based National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice, congratulated Mexican feminists on their crucial victory. “The ruling is a result of courageous and bold organizing that has brought thousands of abortion activists into the streets in recent years. Our hermanas and hermanxs inspire our efforts to rebuild a militant grassroots movement for abortion and bodily autonomy in this country.”

The green bandanna, pañuelo verde, is a symbol of abortion rights movements throughout Latin America and the United States.


Read More:

EL PAÍS International:  Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion nationwide
Politico: Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion nationwide

Photo Caption: The Mexican Supreme Court ordered that the crime of abortion be removed from the federal penal
code. | Adriana Esquivel/AP Photo