Mexico Supreme Court Closer to Decision on Mexico City Abortion Law

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mexico Supreme Court Closer to Decision on Mexico City Abortion Law Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 8,

Mexico City, Mexico ( — The Mexico Supreme Court is closer to rendering a decision on a new law the nation’s capitol approved last year to legalize abortions up to 13 weeks into pregnancy. The high court began its latest term on January 2 and the case against the abortion law is slated as the first decision it will hand down.

The National Commission of Human Rights and the Attorney General’s Office filed suit against the law shortly after the Mexico City Assembly approved it.

Abortion advocates there are applying heavy pressure to the court to uphold the law after a much-criticized case last month in which it cleared a governor of any wrongdoing in connection with the detention of a prominent journalist.

According to La Jornada, a left-leaning Mexico City publication, pro-abortion activists are threatening to vandalize the court building in the same way they did after the journalist’s case — with red paint and rotten eggs.

The Mexico City abortion law has opened the door for women nationwide to get abortions even though the rest of the country continues to prohibit abortions.

As of November, about 3,400 women have had abortions at the massive city’s 14 public hospitals, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Abortion, as it is in most of the nations in the Caribbean and Latin America, is illegal throughout the rest of Mexico and its federal Congress doesn’t appear likely to legalize abortion nationwide.

Pro-life advocates are concerned that the longer the abortion law in their capital stays on the books, the more women from across Mexico will go there for abortions.

They also worried attitudes in Mexico will become like those of Americans in the United States, who see legalized abortion as a part of society.

"It will be difficult, because attitudes are changing," Jorge Serrano Limon, leader of the National Pro-Life Committee, told the newspaper. "The pro-abortion current is growing tremendously. At the beginning, there was resistance in the medical community. Now there isn’t any."

He worries that a defeat at the Supreme Court will prompt other Mexican states ruled by leftist governments, such as Guerrero and Tabasco, to legalize abortion as well.

Most women pay nothing for the abortions at the public hospitals, artificially making abortion seem a better alternative, especially for poor women.

Mexico City officials say that about 75 percent of the abortions done there have been surgical in nature, with women in the rest using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has already claimed more than a dozen lives worldwide and six in the United States alone.