Government of Mexico asks to review 432 abortion cases after Supreme Court ruling

Mexico.- The Government of Mexico asked to review the 432 open research folders for the crime of abortion this 2021 in the country after the historic ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), which declared its penalty unconstitutional.

There are 432 investigation folders open against women for having an abortion between January and July alone, in 27 states of the country, said the head of the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women (Conavim), Fabiola Alanís.

“The local and federal authorities must ensure that women are not criminalized for the exercise of their sexual rights, so all cases of people accused of the crime of abortion throughout the country must be analyzed,” he declared in a statement.

His remarks come after the Supreme Court declared Tuesday unconstitutional the criminalization of abortion, a historical precedent that prevents the imprisonment of women and medical personnel who assist them with consent.

The SCJN ruling only invalidates article 196 of the Penal Code of Coahuila, a state in the north of the country that established up to three years in prison for voluntary abortion, but creates a mandatory criterion for all the country’s courts.

Abortion, whose criminalization is a local competence, is only decriminalized in four of the 32 states: Mexico City, Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Veracruz.

Conavim cited that the entities with the most folders opened for abortion are the State of Mexico with 93, Nuevo León with 67 and Mexico City with 52, despite the fact that in the capital there is the legal interruption of pregnancy until the twelfth week of gestation.

“It should be noted that these three entities account for 49% of the folders opened in the first seven months of this year,” warned the commission, which depends on the Ministry of the Interior (Segob).

The agency also highlighted the figures for Tamaulipas (28 cases), Querétaro (22), Baja California and Guanajuato (with 18 each), Hidalgo (15), Veracruz (14) and Michoacán (13), based on data from the Secretariat Executive of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).

After Tuesday’s ruling, the president of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldívar, announced that the Federal Institute of Public Defense will have public lawyers to defend women prosecuted for the crime.

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“No woman or pregnant person in the country should face criminal proceedings for exercising their right to abortion, and the Mexican State should guarantee access to justice for those who are in that situation today,” Conavim agreed.

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