On September 7, 2021, just days after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing Texas to enact one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country, the Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled to decriminalize abortion. Prior to the decision, only four out of Mexico’s 32 states decriminalized the procedure and, despite some exceptions that applied, women and other pregnant people who obtained an abortion ran the risk of incarceration and some remain in jail. In response to the ruling, Giselle Carino, chief executive officer of International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region, issued the following statement:

“The unanimous ruling by the Mexico Supreme Court to eliminate criminal penalties for terminating a pregnancy is a resounding rejection of a dated and dangerous world view and an unmistakable affirmation of the rights, dignity, and freedom of women and people who can become pregnant. The political power that once penalized and incarcerated people for seeking abortion care has now been replaced with the collective power of millions who fight to make abortion safe and legal throughout Latin America and the world.

“This groundbreaking decision is just the beginning. While we applaud the Supreme Court’s decision, we know that the absence of a criminal penalty does not mean abortion is immediately legal. The next step is working to expand safe and legal access throughout Mexico. We only need to look across the border to the United States to be reminded that our rights, even when secured by law, are never fully protected.

“We will continue to fight the barriers that remain and will march shoulder to shoulder fueled by the Green Wave, poised to transform the world bringing a new dawn of reproductive justice for all. Inspired by this historic decision, we will tighten our green bandanas and double down our efforts to advance legislation that will make abortion legal and safe, fight to release those who remain in jail for obtaining an abortion, work to improve the fragmented healthcare system that limits access to care, and replace the silence and stigma that has controlled us with a chorus of cheers for reproductive health and freedom. In Texas, Mexico and around the world, la lucha continua.”

We stand alongside our partners, healthcare providers and the feminist organizations who have fought tirelessly to make this happen through many years of activism and organizing. Below is their reaction to the Supreme Court ruling:

“Today, Mexico’s Supreme Court took a historic step toward the recognition and protection of the rights of women and others who can get pregnant . With this ruling, the court opened the door to the decriminalization of abortion throughout Mexico. GIRE, along with its partners, activists, and other allies will continue fighting until access to legal and safe abortion services becomes a reality nationwide.” – Rebeca Ramos Duarte, Executive Director, Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE)

“As a result of today’s Supreme Court ruling, women will no longer have to go to jail for simply having an abortion. We celebrate the fact that this ruling respects separation of church and state, recognizes freedom of conscience, acknowledges the plurality and diversity of the Mexican people.” – Lola Guerra, Co-Executive Director, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir – México (Catholics for Choice – Mexico)

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