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Abortion legalized in Mexico: more progressive than the US

Abortion legalized in Mexico: more progressive than the US

Mexico legalizes abortion, joining a trend in Latin America. But the new law is weak.

Abortion legal, safe and free: a demand is implemented in Mexico City during the 2020 protest Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/ap

One topic: the right to abortion. Two countries: United States and Mexico. Two Supreme Courts, two rulings – and two diametrically opposed directions. While the conservative Supreme Court in the United States, thanks to Donald Trump, last year rolled back the nationwide right to abortion dating back to 1973, Mexico’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that criminalizing abortion is unconstitutional. The criminalization of abortion, written into the Mexican Penal Code in 1931, is a permanent violation of the rights of “women and persons of childbearing age.”

This means that the legal situation in the southern neighbor, which is actually very Catholic and socially conservative, is suddenly more progressive and liberal than in the United States. Colombia and Argentina in particular have already taken the lead in decriminalizing abortion in recent years.

What she has in common with Mexico is strong, stubborn feminist movements characterized by many young women fighting for rights. However, women in the United States have had to painfully experience what it means to rely on the validity of a court decision and not ensure that the law becomes law.

The Political Struggle for Reproductive Rights Even with this groundbreaking ruling, Mexico is incomplete. Future Conservative governments could block the flow of money to reproductive health, rallying self-proclaimed pro-lifers in front of abortion clinics, at least limiting young women’s freedom to choose their bodies. And even in Mexico there is no social consensus on the right to abortion. The only thing that will help is continued mobilization – back to court.