WORLD / AMERICAS
Top Mexican court removes legal barriers
Published: Sep 21, 2021 05:43 PM
A pro-life lady prays on her knees outside of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation on September 7, 2021.Photo:CFP

A pro-life lady prays on her knees outside of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation on September 7, 2021.Photo:CFP


Mexico's Supreme Court on Monday struck down a part of the country's health law that allowed medical personnel to refuse to carry out abortions on the grounds of conscientious objection.

The ruling is the latest in a series by the top court removing legal hurdles to abortion in the conservative Latin American country. 

The unanimous vote opens the way for women across Mexico.

The court ruled that the law did not establish the guidelines and limits necessary for doctors and nurses to exercise conscientious objection without jeopardizing patients' rights.

The article was "a blank check to deny health services, particularly in the case of abortion, in violation of other human rights that the constitution recognizes," said court president Arturo Zaldivar.

At the same time, the court recognized medical personnel's right to conscientious objection and scheduled another session on Tuesday to define guidelines for exercising it.

In earlier September, the Supreme Court ruled that women should not be punished for abortion, opening the way for them to access the procedure across the country without fear of being prosecuted.

Abortion has been decriminalized in four of Mexico's 32 states, including Mexico City, in the first 12 weeks.

Women will now also be able to undergo the procedure with a judge's order in the states where it is criminalized.

The Supreme Court also declared as unconstitutional a state law defining life as beginning at conception and equating abortion with murder.


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