by Vanessa Romo/NPR
Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional to punish abortion as a crime, a landmark ruling that clears the way for the legalization of abortion across the country.
The court took up the issue on Monday when eight of 11 justices voted to revoke a law in the state of Coahuila that punished women with up to three years in prison for having an abortion — even in cases of rape. The other three justices joined in the decision Tuesday, declaring such laws unconstitutional.
“Today is a historic day for the rights of all Mexican women,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice Arturo Zaldivar on Tuesday.
“It is a watershed in the history of the rights of all women, especially the most vulnerable,” he added.
The ruling sets a precedent that would force judges across Mexico — home to one of the world’s largest populations of Catholics — to hand down similar rulings and expands early abortion for millions of women in Mexico’s 32 states.