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Supreme Court of Mexico rules in favor of abortions for rape victims

Mexico City, Mexico — The Supreme Court of Mexico has ruled that health institutions in Mexico cannot refuse abortions to rape victims who make the request.

In an unprecedented ruling, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation along with the ministers of the Second Chamber of the Court, ruled that refusing to interrupt the pregnancy of a rape victim is a violation against her reproductive rights.

The criterion was issued after the review of a case where a young minor was raped and became pregnant by her attacker. The General Hospital of Cuernavaca, Morelos refused to perform an abortion even with parental consent, so the parents took the matter to court.

The case began in November 2015 when their minor daughter reported the rape to the Public Ministry of the Attorney General of the State of Morelos, citing a sexual attack that resulted in an unwanted pregnancy.

The minor went to the General Hospital of Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos and requested the legal interruption of the pregnancy, explaining she was the victim of a sexual attack.

However, medical authorities refused to perform the abortion, and after more than three years of litigation in courts, the second courtroom issued a ruling:

“It has been determined that health authorities whom rape victims turn to for the legal interruption of the pregnancy, must attend to the request in an efficient and immediate manner in order to prevent the physical, psychological and other consequences that are derived from the sexual assault, which entails not only providing the necessary medical attention and observation, but the materialization of such legal interruption of pregnancy.”

The legal status of a woman’s right to an abortion varies by state in Mexico. The procedure is offered on request to any woman with up to twelve weeks into a pregnancy in Mexico City, but is severely restricted in most other states.

Mexico City, CDMX or Ciudad de México ,which was formally the Federal District, decriminalized abortions in 2007, however abortion laws and their enforcement vary by region. Women are routinely prosecuted and convicted for having abortions.