Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion across country

Abortion has been decriminalized nationwide in Mexico following a ruling from the country’s Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The decision comes two years after the court ruled to decriminalize abortion in the northern state of Coahuila, fueling a state-by-state movement for decriminalization.

“The First Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that the legal system that penalizes abortion in the Federal Criminal Code is unconstitutional, since it violates the human rights of women and people with the capacity to gestate,” the court posted on social media.

Laws regarding abortion were previously left to the states in Mexico, where the procedure had already been decriminalized in 12 of the country’s 32 states. The jurisdiction of Mexico City was the first to decriminalize it 15 years ago. The state of Aguascalientes was the most recent, decriminalizing the procedure last week.

The change to increase abortion access in Mexico follows the procedure’s decriminalization in Colombia early last year. Abortion laws have historically been strict in Latin America, a predominantly Catholic region.

Four Latin American countries — Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic  — outlaw abortion under all circumstances.

The move to liberalize abortion access comes as many U.S. states increase restrictions on accessing the procedure following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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