MEXICO CITY (AP) – The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation rejected on Wednesday —for reasons of form— an injunction on abortion in Veracruz that intended that state to legislate on the issue taking into account the international conventions signed by Mexico.
Pro-life groups welcomed the decision on the grounds that the high court respected the powers of the states, but feminist organizations criticized that, once again, the high court argued technical and form problems to avoid ruling on the merits of this controversial issue. .
Abortion in Mexico is only allowed in the first 12 weeks in Mexico City and Oaxaca, but it is legal as long as it occurs in the same period throughout the country in case the woman has been raped. There are other exceptions in some other state.
Veracruz, however, is one of the most conservative and even if it was due to rape, it only allowed it in the first 90 days, something that according to the speaker of the project, Minister Juan Luis González Alcántara, was discriminatory for those from Veracruz.
The appeal was rejected by four votes against, arguing that there was no failure to legislate by the Veracruz congress because there is already a law on the subject. Only González Alcántara voted in favor and argued the proceeding of the amparo considering that the current legislation of Veracruz is contrary to the right to dignity and health of women and to the international conventions signed by Mexico.
As explained to AP Verónica Cruz, lawyer and director of the NGO Las Libres, the amparo who came to court « was not going to decriminalize abortion, was not going to declare the crime of abortion unconstitutional », but was trying to tell Veracruz to legislate according to a recommendation from the end of 2017 from the federal government.
However, this recommendation – the result of a gender alert, a kind of emergency declaration that activates certain instruments when violence against women is exacerbated in certain parts of Mexico – urged that the termination of pregnancy in the first twelve weeks be decriminalized in case of rape or for health issues of women.
« When they do not want to decide on abortion, they always say it is for technical issues, » criticized this lawyer, who remembers that the high court has never ruled in favor or against the merits of the matter, although thanks to some of its rulings, He achieved the freedom of women who had been unjustly imprisoned for years.
Feminist organizations hoped that support for this protection would set a precedent to advance towards the decriminalization of abortion not only in Veracruz but in other states.
Several dozen people stationed in front of the seat of the Court in Mexico City shouted slogans in favor of Christ the King or the Virgin and celebrated the court’s decision.
In a statement, pro-life organizations praised that the ministers chose to “safeguard the sovereignty of the states and their free configuration, respecting the will of the people of Veracruz who, in their local Constitution, recognize the Right to Life from conception to natural death ”.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has not spoken openly on the subject, but has always been very conservative on these issues, in line with the Catholic Church and other religious groups.