Mexico Decriminalizes Abortion as Rights Deteriorate in U.S., Poland
By Saurav Sarkar
On September 6, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that federal laws criminalizing abortion are unconstitutional, reported The Guardian. Congress must now pass laws that remove the procedure from the penal code before the measure takes effect, but those who seek abortions and abortion providers will immediately be protected from prosecution. People seeking abortions will also now be able to get them at federal health facilities throughout the country right away.
“Today is a day of victory and justice for Mexican women!” said the National Institute for Women, a government agency.
Since 1994, the rate of unintended pregnancies in Mexico has dropped 31 percent according to the policy organization Guttmacher Institute. However, the rate of abortions has remained steady, leading to the rate of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion rising significantly.
The move by Mexico’s Supreme Court, which is part of a trend in Latin America, comes even as Mexico’s neighbor to the north has moved in the opposite direction. In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, which for nearly 50 years had guaranteed the right to abortion to women and others with uteruses in the country. Since then, 22 U.S. states have banned or restricted abortions, and a total of 24 are expected to ban or heavily restrict the procedure in the near future.
The U.S. is not alone in restricting abortion rights. Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization, recently reported that Poland’s government is engaged in a “witch hunt [targeting] women [and] doctors.”
Saurav Sarkar is a freelance writer and editor who covers political activism and labor movements. They live in Long Island, New York, and have also lived in New York City, New Delhi, London, and Washington, D.C. Follow them on Twitter @sauravthewriter and at sauravsarkar.com.
from the Globetrotter News Service