- Mexico’s supreme court ruled Tuesday to decriminalize abortion in a unanimous vote.
- The ruling marks a major victory for reproductive rights advocates in the country.
- It comes after an anti-abortion law recently went into effect in Texas, Mexico’s northern neighbor.
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Mexico’s supreme court ruled Tuesday to decriminalize abortion in a unanimous vote, marking a major victory for reproductive rights advocates in the largely Catholic country.
“This is a historic step for the rights of women,” one of the supreme court justice’s, Luis Maria Aguilar, said after the the ruling, according to Reuters.
The supreme court ruling that it is unconstitutional to punish abortion comes amid a feminist movement in Mexico.
The ruling will immediately only affect the northern border state of Coahuila – which made abortion a criminal act – but establishes “obligatory criteria for all of the country’s judges,” said the supreme court’s president Arturo Zaldivar, according to the Associated Press.
Only four of Mexico’s 32 states, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Hidalgo, have legalized abortion, while the other states in the country have largely penalized the procedure, the AP reported.
In most of Latin America, abortion remains illegal.
“This will not only have an impact in Mexico; it will set the agenda for the entire Latin American region,” Melissa Ayala, coordinator of litigation for the Mexican feminist organization GIRE, told The Washington Post of the vote.
Ayala called the ruling “a historic moment for feminists and activists.”
The ruling comes after an anti-abortion law recently went into effect in Texas, Mexico’s northern neighbor.
The Texas law, which went into effect last week, bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.