Abortion decriminalised in Mexico: For the right to choose. The struggle must go on

Statement by Socialist Alternative, our sister organisation in Mexico

On 6 September, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation granted the appeal that Information Group for Chosen Reproduction (GIRE), a human rights organisation focused on reproductive rights, brought against four articles of the Federal Criminal Code that maintain prison sentences for people who decide to have an abortion. In this way the Supreme Court of Justice has fulfilled the wish of millions of women to decriminalise abortion in Mexico. This is undoubtedly a huge step forward for the feminist and LGBTQ+ movement in the conquest of rights for women and LGBTQ+ people, but only organisation and mobilisation in the streets will make it a reality.

The green tide, as the fight for abortion is known thanks to the inspiring feminist movement in Argentina that achieved the decriminalisation of abortion in that country in 2020, has achieved a new and unparalleled triumph in Latin America. This time in Mexico. This is the result of the mobilisation of millions of people across the country to achieve the decriminalisation of abortion at the national level. The decriminalisation of abortion in Mexico has been a long process that began in 2007 in Mexico City. Afterwards, the green tide spread to various states in the country: Aguascalientes, Baja California, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Colima, Hidalgo, Baja California Sur, Veracruz, Coahuila and Oaxaca.

Decriminalisation does not guarantee dignified, safe and free access to legal termination of pregnancy. Therefore, decriminalisation must be accompanied by the allocation of resources and the expansion of health service coverage at the federal, state and municipal levels for the full exercise of this right. Otherwise, as has been the case until now, only women and pregnant people with greater resources will be able to have abortions while the rest will be forced to have abortions in poor conditions in the best of cases, or to die or to continue the pregnancy in the worst of cases.

The patriarchal policies of this country will not change simply because they are decreed in local and federal congresses; a radical transformation of society is required. For this reason, in addition to the decriminalisation of abortion, it is necessary to strengthen sex education in all the country’s schools and to wage a frontal battle against the backlash from the right wing that seeks to prevent schools from talking clearly about sexuality in the classroom. It is also essential to strengthen the distribution of contraceptives, for the free and full exercise of sexuality for all.

From Rosa International Socialist Feminists and Socialist Alternative, we are convinced that the emancipation of women and our bodies will only be achieved through the complete emancipation of our class, not only through a change in political discourse and good legal initiatives. Undoubtedly, the pronouncement of the Supreme Court has been a great step forward, but it is not enough. There is still a long way to go to advance in the conquest of rights for working women.

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