On Wednesday, 29 June, the Mexican Supreme Court rejected a draft law to decriminalise abortion. Members of this institution’s upper house rejected, by three votes to one, an initiative seeking to “declare as unconstitutional two articles in the penal code criminalising abortion and drastically limiting the options to have an abortion on medical grounds”.
Abortion has been authorised in Mexico City since 2007 provided that it is carried out within three months of conception. However, it is prohibited in the rest of the country unless the pregnant woman’s life is in danger (see Abortion in Mexico).
The draft bill, presented by Arturo Zaldivar, member of the Supreme Court, sought to “extend the option for abortion to women suffering from other disorders and to declare as unconstitutional prison sentences of up to five years for illegal abortion”. According to Arturo Zaldivar, Article 334 of the Mexican Penal Code “genuinely discriminates against women’s health”. His intention was also “to introduce gradual sanctions in the event of illegal abortion depending on the number of weeks into the pregnancy”.
Although the Supreme Court has rejected the bill, the spread of the Zika virus to Latin America has recently rekindled the debate on this issue. The Court does not rule out examining a new proposal in the coming months.
AFP 30/06/2016, Le figaro 30/06/2016