Mexico’s Jalisco State Decriminalizes Abortion

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryThe major city of Guadalajara and the whole of Jalisco state it is located in will decriminalize abortion in all cases. This makes Jalisco state the thirteenth Mexican state to decriminalize abortion as a medical procedure. In 2021, the Mexican Supreme Court had declared all federal laws against abortion as unconstitutional. Hence, all laws restricting abortion at the federal level had been removed so health care providers were no longer under penalty of arrest. Despite this, Mexico’s various states still had laws criminalizing abortion. When the ruling was made in 2021, the states like Mexico City, Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Veracruz already had laws that made abortion legal. Since the Mexican Supreme Court ruling, other states like Coahuila, Baja California, Colima, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Baja California Sur, Quintana Roo and Aguascalientes had legalized abortion.

Jalisco state is the latest to make abortion legal. One has to remember that abortion had been a contentious issue in Mexico just like in the United States, and like so much of Latin America the Catholic Church played a major part in making sure that abortion was not allowed. But the growth of women’s rights in Mexico, plus the change in the political system, has brought Mexico towards a realization that abortion is not a moral issue more than a health issue. Women’s health is just as important an issue as any health issue, and abortion is a part of that. If women are not allowed to end a pregnancy that could result in the harm towards both the mother and the fetus, then the woman’s life could be lost. This happened too often in the past, and in too many countries this still happens (this happens even in the United States at present).

Yes, like in the United States, the issue of abortion is a polarizing one in Mexico. There are conservative forces that do not want abortion to be legal. Hence, there will be largely conservative states that will hold out on this issue. But unlike the United States or a lot of the Americas, Mexico is by and large moving forward in making abortion completely legal. Many Mexicans are seeing abortion as a health issue rather than a moral or religious one. With the U.S. Supreme Court having overturned the Roe vs Wade decision that made abortion legal on the federal level in the United States, the attempts to make abortion nationally legal again in America is gaining steam. In many ways, Americans are looking towards how Mexicans are rapidly decriminalizing abortion.

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