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Texas abortion advocates celebrate Mexico's decriminalization

Mexican women protest for the right to legal access to abortion in Mexico City on International Safe Abortion Day on September 28, 2022.
Stephania Corpi
Mexican women protest for the right to legal access to abortion in Mexico City on International Safe Abortion Day on September 28, 2022.

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The Mexican Supreme Court has decriminalized abortion, a contrast to the status of abortion rights on the other side of the Rio Grande — where the highest court in the U.S. has stripped constitutional protections on abortion.

Wednesday's ruling removed abortion from the Mexican federal penal code, and public health services must provide pregnancy interruption to anyone who requests it.

"This decision is a historical milestone representing a turning point in the defense of reproductive justice," said Rebecca Ramos, executive director of El Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida. "This would not have been possible without the incessant commitment of the feminist movement of which we are extremely proud to be a part of today."

Two years ago, the Supreme Court paved the road by declaring unconstitutional the criminalization of abortion in the northern states of Coahuila and Sinaloa.

What started 15 years ago, when Mexico City made abortion legal, has had the momentum to attract 11 other Mexican states.

Developments in Mexico also followed similar decisions throughout Latin America to push back abortion restrictions.

Bioscience-Medicine Mexico decriminalizes abortion, extending Latin American trend of widening access The Associated Press

On the U.S. side, abortion rights activists in Texas paid close attention to Wednesday's developments. Thousands of women have had to travel out of the Lone Star State for the procedure.

"This decision is the first of many steps in granting the people of Mexico full autonomy over their lives, bodies, and futures. Generations of radical Mexican and Latin American feminists have pushed their governments through direct action and defying unjust laws, generations of aiding and abetting abortions have led them to this moment," said Makayla Montoya Frazier, founder and executive director of the San Antonio-based Buckle Bunnies Fund. 

She added: "As more Texans are supported by Mexican abortion organizations, we celebrate this moment alongside our comrades and renew our commitment to international abortion solidarity."

For many Texans, Mexico is the closest place to travel. But anti-abortion activists, emboldened bySB8, are seeking to shut down local roads and airports with county ordinances — declaring it illegal to "aid and abet abortion traffickers."

Public Health What it’s like to date (and have sex) under Texas' abortion ban Audrey McGlinchy

TPR's Josh Peck contributed to this report.

Copyright 2023 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Stephania Corpi
TPR's News Director Katz leads the organization’s news and journalism efforts, overseeing the newsroom’s day-to-day management and the development of a strategic vision for the news division. He also serves on the organization’s executive leadership team. TPR’s news team currently has 16 staff members, including reporters dedicated to in-depth coverage of subjects including Arts & Culture, Bioscience & Medicine, Education, Technology & Entrepreneurship, Military & Veterans Issues and State Government.