In a unanimous vote, the Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) declared unconstitutional the criminalization of abortion, so the criterion is now mandatory for all judges in the country. The Plenary of the SCJN restarted the discussion on the criminalization of abortion in Coahuila in which eight ministers had already pronounced yesterday to declare unconstitutional this type of measure.
This Tuesday it was the turn of three of the 11 ministers to issue their pronouncements on the proposal of Luis María Aguilar Morales to declare unconstitutional article 196 of the Penal Code of Coahuila, which establishes up to three years in prison for those who voluntarily abort. However, Minister Jorge Mario Pardo Rebolledo is not present due to "force majeure", as explained by the SCJN's Chief Justice, Arturo Zaldívar.
This Monday, eight ministers of the SCJN decided to annul the criminalization of abortion in Coahuila, established even in cases of rape. The analysis of the matter continued today with the pronouncement of three more justices. With the eight votes announced on Monday, it was enough to declare unconstitutional article 196 of the Penal Code of Coahuila, which establishes penalties of up to three years in prison for women who voluntarily have abortions.
The Court issued this declaration when resolving the unconstitutionality action filed by the former Attorney General's Office (PGR, now FGR) against the Criminal Code of Coahuila so that the resolution issued by the ministers has the effect of eliminating Article 196, which provides up to three years in prison for women who intentionally perform abortions. The project was made by Minister Luis María Aguilar Morales who presented it before the Plenary this Monday and at the beginning of his presentation clarified that his proposal does not seek to defend the right to abortion but rather the right of women to freely decide about their lives.
"There is no place within the jurisprudential doctrine of this Constitutional Court for a scenario in which a woman cannot pose the dilemma of continuing or interrupting her pregnancy for a short period of time at the beginning of gestation, since this would be tantamount to assuming that her dignity and personal autonomy can be modulated and restricted according to assumptions based on a social construct that, rather than independent women, configures them as instruments of procreation," states the project endorsed by the Court.
"In order to annul the right to decide, there is no room for a paternalistic stance that supports the idea that women need to be "protected" from making certain decisions about their life plan, sexual and reproductive health, since this approach entails a disregard for women as rational, individual and autonomous beings, fully aware of the decisions that - according to their life plan - are the ones they consider most convenient".
Poll: What is Mexican society's opinion on abortion?
This Wednesday, El Financiero published a new poll, which revealed that Mexican public opinion continues to be sharply divided in its stance on a woman's right to abortion, as 45% of the people interviewed last August expressed their agreement with the law allowing the right to abortion, while 53% disagreed.
According to the survey published this Wednesday, support for a woman's right to decide on abortion has been very similar between men and women in recent months, and the August survey shows 46% of women and 45% of men agreeing with this right. The last time this series of data was published regarding Mexican society's opinion on abortion was in March 2021, in the framework of Women's Day, and the most recent survey up to that time, conducted in February, showed very similar numbers, with 45% agreeing and 51% disagreeing. However, the rejection of a woman's right to abortion rose to 59% in July.
Young people support abortion, but older adults do not.
The study also revealed that age is a clear differentiating factor in opinion on this issue, as those under 30 years of age have remained mostly in favor, and those over 50, against. Thus, the opinion gap between the two generational groups was 24 percentage points in August, with 54% agreement among the younger group and 30% agreement among the older ones.
However, the gap has reached as high as 45 points, as seen last May, with 73% of young people in support of a woman's right to abortion, compared to 28% of those over 50. The 30-49 age group has shown intermediate positions, with moments mostly in favor and moments mostly against. In the August survey, their position was very similar to that of the younger group, with 53% agreeing with a woman's right to abortion.
Schooling also opens important gaps in opinion on this issue, with respondents with university or high school education expressing greater agreement with the right to abortion, and those with basic education expressing less agreement. The gap between both groups was 20 points last August, with the most educated group supporting 56% of the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy, and the least educated group, 36%, the survey revealed.