Mexico City (CNN)The crushed virtually shook connected the time the Mexican Supreme Court decriminalized abortion: On September 7, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Mexican Pacific coast, rocking respective states and sidesplitting 1 person. It lasted astir a minute.
But the shockwaves sent crossed the portion by the court's termination ruling volition beryllium felt for years to come.
One women's close person consulted by CNN says the unanimous ruling, which recovered penalizing termination to beryllium unconstitutional, could marque Mexico a destination for women from the US -- wherever termination was precocious strictly constricted successful Texas -- and adjacent a exemplary for different countries successful Latin America, a portion that has not historically been affable to women seeking abortion.
What the ruling means
Mexico's highest tribunal had been asked to see a instrumentality enacted successful the bluish authorities of Coahuila, which said that women who get an termination whitethorn beryllium punished with up to 3 years successful situation and a fine.
In a unanimous vote, the tribunal declared the section instrumentality unconstitutional, a ruling that doesn't automatically legalize termination successful the country, according to analysts consulted by CNN. Pending cases indispensable inactive beryllium heard astatine the section level and laws restricting termination successful states crossed Mexico are inactive connected the books.
However, it sets a almighty precedent for the remainder of the country, which the Supreme Court justices acknowledged arsenic they took the decision. Ana Margarita Ríos Farjat, 1 of lone 3 women connected the bench, besides spoke forcefully against the Coahuila instrumentality earlier casting her vote.
"I'm against stigmatizing those who marque this determination [to acquisition an abortion] which I judge is hard to statesman with, owed to motivation and societal burdens. It shouldn't beryllium burdened arsenic good by the law. Nobody gets voluntarily large reasoning astir getting an termination later," she said.
"Never again volition a pistillate oregon a idiosyncratic with the capableness to transportation a kid beryllium criminally prosecuted," aboriginal concluded Justice Luis María Aguilar, praising the ruling arsenic "a historical step."
The ruling received precocious praise by women's and reproductive rights groups, but was blasted by conservatives and the Mexican Catholic Church. While the tribunal seems to person decidedly moved to the left, the state remains polarized. Mexican nationalist sentiment is inactive profoundly divided connected the contented connected abortion.
Polling conducted earlier the determination by nationalist paper "El Financiero," showed that 53 percent of Mexicans opposed the instrumentality allowing women the close to person an abortion, portion 45 percent hold that Mexican instrumentality should let the procedure.
This world was reflected successful interviews conducted by CNN the greeting aft the ruling was issued connected the streets of Mexico City.
"A pistillate shouldn't beryllium deprived of her close to determine for herself and overmuch little beryllium incarcerated for thing she decides astir her ain body," said 1 pistillate walking connected the centric Reforma Avenue, who declined to beryllium named.
"I hold that women should bash immoderate they privation with their body, but not connected this issue. We're talking astir a quality being. Things shouldn't beryllium done that distant [by having an abortion]," said different who besides declined to beryllium named.
A overmuch awaited day
On the time of the ruling, those successful favour and against termination had peacefully protested successful beforehand of the Mexican Supreme Court building. Some knelt and prayed, oregon held figurines of fetuses up high, portion others waved banners demanding harmless and ineligible abortions, which described their origin arsenic a "fight against a patriarchal society."
The ruling is simply a stroke to overmuch of Mexico's immense and deep-rooted Catholic community. Before it was heard, Bishop Jesús José Herrera Quiñones from the Nuevo Casas Grandes Diocese, issued a statement connected behalf of the Mexican Episcopal Conference: "We would similar to punctual you each that a quality being, conceived by a begetter and a mother, whose beingness begins astatine the infinitesimal of conception, should beryllium recognized successful his oregon her dignity successful each stages of beingness and deserves the aforesaid extortion nether the instrumentality successful the look of actions that could enactment this idiosyncratic successful jeopardy," Herrera Quiñones wrote.
The time aft the ruling, Eduardo Verástegui, a Mexican actor-turned-conservative-activist, criticized the court's determination successful an emotional tweet pinned to his authoritative account. "Mexico cries today. Mexico shakes today. It is raining unconsolably successful respective parts of the state and the Earth creaks. Today thousands of Mexican babies person been condemned to die. Mexico cries today; Mexico shakes for its daughters and sons that volition ne'er beryllium born," Verástegui wrote.
But past has been made. María Antonieta Alcalde, manager of Ipas/Central America and Mexico, a women's rights groups that besides advocates for reproductive rights, says the court's ruling is the effect of years of lobbying and advocating by organizations similar hers with the intent of making termination harmless and ineligible successful Mexico.
"Even though the determination was expected, the positions of the antithetic judges, however wide their connection was and having a unanimous determination was thing that we didn't expect," Alcalde said.
She stressed that adjacent though the ruling of the tribunal applies to the authorities of Coahuila specifically, it sends a connection to each the states. Under Mexico's national system, states tin enact their ain laws, but a ruling by the Supreme Court supersedes immoderate section statutes.
Alcalde besides said the ruling whitethorn besides person repercussions crossed the Mexican border, specifically erstwhile it comes to Texas, wherever controversial instrumentality that bars abortions aft six weeks went into effect connected September 1.
"Texas is moving successful the different direction. What could hap is that much Texan women whitethorn determine to question to Mexico. It's benignant of the other of what utilized to happen. A batch of Mexican women utilized to question to the U.S. to person a harmless and ineligible abortion. What we volition spot successful the future, particularly if keeps the caller law, is that immoderate women from Texas whitethorn question to Mexico to person a harmless and ineligible abortion," Alcalde said.
Before the ruling, termination was lone ineligible successful each of Mexico's states lone erstwhile the gestation was the effect of rape. In issuing her opinion, Justice Ana Margarita Ríos said that -- ineligible oregon not -- betwixt 750,000 and a cardinal abortions are practiced successful Mexico yearly.
The ruling could people a turning constituent for the greater Latin American region, which the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think-tank dedicated to the investigation of planetary affairs successful the Western Hemisphere, describes arsenic "one of the astir restrictive regions successful the satellite erstwhile it comes to reproductive wellness laws and policies, peculiarly abortion."
Abortion is wholly prohibited successful Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Suriname, according to a February investigation by the organization.
The aforesaid investigation notes that termination is allowed successful respective countries lone nether strict conditions -- typically erstwhile the gestation is the effect of rape, involves a fatal fetal anomaly, oregon poses a wellness hazard to the mother's beingness -- and is allowed "on demand" successful Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana, French Guiana, and Argentina.