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Jalisco Court Paves Way for Abortion Decriminalization

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico – A court ruling in Jalisco has opened the door for the state to become the 13th in Mexico to decriminalize abortion. The decision follows the Mexican Supreme Court’s September 2021 ruling that declared criminal codes prohibiting abortion unconstitutional.

Reproductive rights group GIRE filed an injunction request challenging Jalisco’s existing legislation that criminalizes voluntary abortion. A court in Guadalajara sided with GIRE, deeming the state’s criminal code articles unconstitutional. The court further mandated the Jalisco Congress to repeal these laws.

This ruling aligns with the national trend initiated by the Supreme Court in 2021. The high court’s decision prevented states from criminalizing medical professionals who perform abortions.

However, Jalisco has not yet officially decriminalized abortion. The state Congress must now act to repeal the relevant legislation in accordance with the court order.

While full legalization hinges on legislative action, this court decision signifies a significant step towards expanded abortion access in Jalisco. Currently, only 12 other Mexican states allow unrestricted early-term abortions. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling, eight states – Coahuila, Baja California, Colima, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Baja California Sur, Quintana Roo and Aguascalientes – have decriminalized abortion, joining the four – Mexico City, Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Veracruz – that already had legal access.

GIRE emphasized that this is part of a broader legal strategy aimed at preventing the criminalization of anyone involved in abortions – women, transgender individuals, medical personnel, and bystanders. The organization continues to urge courts to follow established legal precedents and recognize abortion as an essential healthcare service.

The situation in Jalisco underscores the ongoing process of abortion legalization in Mexico. While court rulings remove legal obstacles, ensuring proper access to abortion services remains a challenge due to potential resource and training limitations for medical professionals.

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