Mexico has just legalized abortion if the mother’s health is at risk. The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) ruled Wednesday that women will now be able to receive a legal abortion if the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s health. Until now, the two exceptions decriminalizing abortion were instances of rape or the risk of the mother’s death, as clearly defined in articles 333 and 334 of the Federal Penal Code.
The SCJN’s decision was made analysing the case of Marisa, a 40-year-old woman who was refused an abortion by doctors at the Centro Nacional 20 de Noviembre, in Mexico. She wanted to have an abortion because of the risk of developing diabetes, thromboembolism, and pre-eclampsia during the pregnancy. The doctors justified their refusal by citing the criminal code, which allowed abortion only in cases where there was a risk of death.
The woman filed an injunction with the SCJN, which ruled in her favour on Wednesday: “it has been determined that the provisions of the General Health Act may allow access to abortion services for medical reasons. This is why the conditions of the right to health were not met at the time of the refusal”. The Court stated that by refusing the abortion, doctors “increased the risk of her health deteriorating”, representing an act of “discrimination” since only women can have access to this type of intervention “which violates their right to the highest possible level of health and well-being”.
For further reading: