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In a first, Mexico decriminalizes abortion

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In a revolutionary push towards progress, the Supreme Court of Mexico decriminalized abortion in the state. According to the ruling, any criminal penalties meted out to terminate pregnancies are unconstitutional and would therefore be removed. The decision came in the northern state of Coahuila. It will safeguard women from facing persecution for seeking abortion.

Ordering the state of Coahuila, the court declared that the sanctions pertaining to abortion in its criminal code should be removed. Till date, abortion had only been legal in very few states. The nation ‘allowed’ abortions only in cases of rape or when the life of the mother was in danger.

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Supreme Court Justice Luis Maria Aguilar who was involved in this magnanimous decision said that the move is a “historic step for the rights of women”. 11 Supreme Court judges were concerned with this ruling and unanimously voted to decriminalize abortion. Currently abortion is strictly restricted in all but four states of the nation, but owing to this ruling, the petitioners are hopeful that it will soon be applicable to the rest of the country.

The Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE) which is an active organization campaigning for abortion rights also called this moment historic. They went on to add “We hope that throughout the country women and people with the ability to carry a child have the conditions and freedom to determine their reproductive destiny.”

The state of Coahuila also borders the US state of Texas where the Supreme Court allowed the state decision of banning all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. With this new ruling in place, an avenue opens up for the people of Texas to seek legal abortions.

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Over the years, several feminist groups and campaigners of women’s rights have been emphasizing on the need for the greater reproductive rights in Mexico. The fact that being one of the second largest Catholic nation of Latin America, Mexico decriminalizing abortion shows how far the discourse of women’s reproductive rights have reached in this century.

With one state taking this strong action, the world should look towards a brighter future where all of Mexico decriminalizes abortion. Over the years, debates have seen a shift, raising questions over the illegality of abortion and how the grave error needs to be rectified for the world to become a more inclusive space. Despite having a strong Catholic Church and vehemently conservative politicians, Mexico has taken a leap and set an example for many countries to follow. It has provided nations with a road map and the impetus needed to follow a legal procedure to remove laws that consider abortion illegal. This ruling is indeed historic and places Mexico in the global grid of countries inclined towards understanding and appreciating its female population.

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