Mexico Supreme Court Will Hear Abortion Case on Pro-Life Baja Amendment

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 29, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mexico Supreme Court Will Hear Abortion Case on Pro-Life Baja Amendment

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 29
, 2009

Mexico City, Mexico ( — The Mexico Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving a pro-abortion challenge to an amendment the state of Baja California has approved in its constitution. The amendment grants legal protection to unborn children from the moment of conception.

"An individual is granted legal protection from the moment in which they are conceived," Article 7 of the Baja California constitution now says.

Human rights officials for the Mexican state filed a challenge to the constitutional amendment Baja recently adopted.

They claim the amendment, adopted in December, overturns the current status of legal abortions in the rare cases of protecting the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.

According to an AP report, no one has yet to be denied an abortion for those rare reasons under the new amendment.

AP indicated the Mexico Supreme Court did not give a deadline for holding a hearing on the case, filed by the state’s attorney general’s office for human rights.

This would be the second time the nation’s high court has considered an abortion case in the last 12 months.

In August, it issued an 8-3 decision upholding a law the Mexico City Legislative Assembly approved allowing abortions in the federal district in the first 12 weeks.

Mexico’s Attorney General, Eduardo Medina Mora-Icaza, brought a suit seeking to overturn the law in May 2007. At the same time, the president of the National Human Rights Commission began a parallel challenge.

In the ruling, Justice Guillermo Ortiz said the court’s ruling should be examined narrowly and that it was only saying Mexico City has the right to legalize abortion and that the decision doesn’t extend to the nation as a whole.

The decision appeared to relate more to the fact that the Federal District is distinct in its setup from the Mexican states and can make its own abortion laws rather than saying abortion is constitutional in and of itself for the whole of the country.

Mexico City is one of the few places in Latin America where abortions are legal and pro-life advocates worry the ruling will open the door for legalizing abortion throughout Mexico and in other nations.

That concern prompted Baja California to issue its constitutional amendment reaffirming the right to life of unborn children starting from conception.

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