The Mexican Supreme Court has overturned a ruling that could have opened the door to the legalisation of abortion throughout the country.
In a 4-1 vote, justices rejected a lower court’s attempt to force the state of Veracruz the legalise the practice.
Rodrigo Iván Cortés, president of the Frente Nacional por la Familia, said: “Today, life has triumphed.” He told ACI Prensa of his gratitude for “all the effort, the dedication of the entire society in favour of life” in recent days.
Cortés also praised the efforts of more than 200 local and federal legislators who sent an open letter to the Supreme Court urging it to reject abortion.
Veracruz’s constitution protects life from conception to natural death, however a legal challenge claimed the constitution violated women’s rights. A lower court agreed and granted an injunction requiring the state’s legislators to allow for abortion up to 12 weeks.
If the Supreme Court had agreed, Veracruz would have become the third state to legalise abortion after Mexico City and Oaxaca. The ruling would likely have been used to push for abortion in other states.
Justice Norma Pina, who sided with the court’s majority, said the courts cannot force members of another branch of government to take certain actions as lawmakers.
“The court cannot replace the legislature to order specific legislative content, because there is no constitutional mandate to legislate,” she said.
“The court would fall into judicial activism,” Pina added, “which would surpass its constitutional powers.”
The Mexican bishops’ conference tweeted after the decision: “Today in #Mexico, a culture of life triumphs, thanks to everyone and each of you who joined together to pray and raise their voices. May life live!”
Cortés said that while the Supreme Court ruling represents a significant victory, the fight continues as most states still have pending legislation that could expand abortion.
Along with the 200 legislators, more than 200 jurists also called on the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court’s decision.
More than 200,000 people also signed a CitizenGo petition urging the Supreme Court to reject abortion.
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