Mexican state of Aguascalientes decriminalizes abortion

Aguascalientes became the twelfth state in Mexico to decriminalize abortion after a ruling by the Mexican Supreme Court last week. According to El Economista, now that abortion has been decriminalized, facilities in the state will start offering universal and ‘free’ abortions.

Reuters reports that in its August 30 ruling, the court removed criminal penalties for committing abortions, noting that an abortion law “totally suppressed the constitutional right of women and people with the capacity to bear children to choose, and therefore their right to health, equality, and non-discrimination.” The court said that prohibiting abortion also penalized victims of rape since the restrictions impose “requirements which hinder and delay access to health services which, in such cases, should be guaranteed promptly and urgently.”

Feminist group GIRE had worked with other pro-abortion groups to file a lawsuit against the state in early 2022 for its abortion laws. The group celebrated the decision, calling it an “enormous achievement.” In a statement, GIRE also noted, “[W]ith this decision, the state has the obligation to provide abortion services and the local Congress has the obligation to repeal the articles declared unconstitutional.”

The country’s Supreme Court decriminalized abortion in 2021, though it was legal in some states prior to that time. Since the 2021 decision, many states have proceeded with allowing abortion within their own jurisdictions.

The Catholic Bishop of Aguascalientes, Juan Espinoza Jiménez, spoke out against the court’s ruling in his Sunday homily, saying it was “under the criteria of men, but not of God.”

“In these days in society, there have been many things that cause turbulence, for example, respect for life. God’s criteria is to defend life in all its expressions, man’s criteria are different,” he said according to a translated report. “Just the same, we, with God’s lenses, know how to discern whether God’s criteria or the criteria of men are ultimately there, and as believers, let us ask God to help us to always be guided by his criteria, not by the criteria of the world.”

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