On July 30, 2020, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled a 4-1 decision to strike down a lower court ruling which had forced Veracruz, a Mexican state, to legalize abortion during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Veracruz’s state constitution is very pro-life; it protects life from conception to natural death with a very minimal amount of exceptions, but just recently the state was accused of being discriminatory against women because they were not allowing abortions.
Because of this accusation, Veracruz lost in a lower court, which ruled it necessary for them to allow abortion for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Of course, Veracruz was not going to let the court win this easily, so they appealed to a higher court. The case then went to the Supreme Court of Mexico.
This was an essential point in Mexico’s pro-life culture: if Mexico’s Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling- that Veracruz needed to allow their citizens to have early abortions- this would open the door for the legalization of abortion throughout the country. Right now, the only places in Mexico that have abortion access are Mexico City and Oaxaca State. Thankfully, the Supreme Court upheld Veracruz’s right to deny their citizens access to abortion at any time during pregnancy.
There are five Supreme Court justices who ruled on this case, similar to the nine justices in the American system. Out of these five, only one justice ruled against the state of Veracruz. This justice was Justice Carranca. The rest of the justices ruled that Veracruz should not be required to allow abortions.
One of the bishops of the Mexican Conference of Bishops responded to this victory. He tweeted, “Thank you. Blessed be God. #Yes to life.” The Archdiocese of Mexico also voiced their approval to this great victory saying, “today life won in Veracruz–and in the country itself–thanks to the Supreme Court’s rejection of the effort to decriminalize abortion in the state, recognizing that this procedure is not a right in any law, whether national or international.” Even before they won the lawsuit, the bishops and Catholic community showed their support for this pro-life legislation.