Mexico’s Supreme Court has decriminalized abortion nationwide. The court ruled yesterday that it was unconstitutional to impose prison sentences for the termination of pregnancies. Parliament was instructed to remove penalties that had been in force since 1931 from the penal code. The criminalization of abortion violates the human rights of women and other persons of childbearing potential.

As early as 2021, the Supreme Court had declared an absolute ban on abortion to be unconstitutional. However, the penal code still provides for prison sentences of up to five years for abortions. Prison sentences are also planned for the doctors involved.

In Catholic Mexico, abortion is a punishable offense in 20 of the 32 states. Abortions are only permitted there in special cases, for example after a rape or if the mother’s life is in danger. The Gire organization had filed a lawsuit for nationwide decriminalization before the Supreme Court. After the verdict, public hospitals across the country must now also grant the right to free abortion.