Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled today that states must provide emergency contraception or legal abortions to rape victims upon request. This brings states who have passed anti-abortion legislation in the past 18 months back into line with federal law, which allows for the legal termination of pregnancies resulting from rape.
Mexico City legalized 1st term abortions back in April of 2007, becoming the only place in Latin America outside of Cuba where women can choose to end an unwanted pregnancy. The Supreme Court later ruled that states and the federal district could decide whether or not to permit abortions within their jurisdictions. This sparked a flurry of state-level constitutional amendments to protect life from the moment of conception.
The language of the reformed amendments did not take into account the exceptions made in federal law for pregnancies resulting from rape or those that present life-threatening risks to the woman. That was the essence of the challenge brought before the court by the state of Jalisco, known as a bastion of conservative Catholicism. Seventeen other states must now revisit their reformed constitution to allow rape victims the choice of terminating their pregnancies.
Related background story at http://www.fsrn.org/audio/mexico-city-marks-three-years-legalized-abortion-women-outside-still-face-risks/6627