The September 6th headlines in the international press seemed to leave no doubt: the Supreme Court of Mexico had issued a ruling decriminalizing abortion throughout the country. The stories that followed went even further, insisting that the ruling compelled all hospitals to provide abortions and that no doctor who performed an abortion could be punished for doing so.
Who could doubt that the abortion movement had won a great victory in Mexico? After all, the same story was repeated by all the main media players, from CNN, BBC, and the New York Times, to AP, Reuters, and El País in Spain. Not to mention that the entire legion of the worldwide abortion lobby joined the chorus of celebration, to which even the UN quickly chimed in.
Don’t fall for the lie.
This media campaign is nothing more than an attempt to manipulate public opinion. It was intended to convince the Mexican people, the majority of whom are pro-life, that the battle is over. That the abortion movement has won such a decisive legal victory that abortion on demand is now the law of the land and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that anyone can do about it.
The goal of these global liars was to so dispirit and demoralize the Mexican pro-life movement—and by extension pro-lifers around the world—that they would simply give up the fight for life. Give up, go home, you have lost, was the underlying issue.
But a closer look at what just happened in Mexico reveals that nothing could be further from the truth: the issue of abortion is far from closed in Mexico.
Currently the Federal Penal Code considers that abortion violates “the human rights of women and persons with gestational capacity” and therefore criminalizes it.
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The ruling that came down from the First Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court temporarily suspending this provision is called an amparo. An amparo is a temporary order issue while a case is under review.
The case in question was filed by GIRE, Mexico’s leading abortion advocacy group, and asks the Supreme Court to declare that the provision in the Federal Penal Code that punishes those who engage in induced abortion to be unconstitutional. While their case is under review, GIRE—supposedly on behalf of Mexican women, requested the Court to issue the amparo.
In issuing the amparo the First Chamber of the Court violated its own rules.
First, an amparo is only supposed to be issued in response to a request from an injured party which claims that his or her rights have been violated. One cannot make a request for an amparo on behalf of others, yet this is precisely what GIRE did. They filed a request for a write of amparo on behalf of all “Mexican women”.
In fact, the original trial judges dismissed GIRE’s original case for lack of standing. GIRE is an organization, not an individual, and therefore cannot perform an abortion. Nor is it even in the business of performing abortions. So, it has not been, and cannot be harmed by laws criminalizing abortion.
In other words, GIRE clearly does not qualify for an amparo. Yet the Supreme Court, violating its own rules, claimed that GIRE is “a person suffering harm” from the pro-life provisions of the Federal Criminal Code and issued the amparo anyway. It is currently reviewing the constitutionality of Articles 330, 331, 332, 333 and 334 of the Federal Criminal Code.
Part of the impetus for violating Mexican law in this way comes from north of the border. Since Joe Biden arrived at the White House, the Mexican Supreme Court has made a sharp left turn. Note that Vice President Kamala Harris attended the inauguration of Mexican President Andres Lopez Obrador in June 2021. Shortly thereafter, the White House announced that the Biden administration and Lopez Obrador signed an agreement “to relaunch the High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED)” between the two countries.
At the same time, the Mexican Supreme Court swung into action, striking down state laws limiting abortion. On September 7, the ax fell on two articles of the Penal Code of the State of Coahuila (Section II articles 196 and 224) that criminalized abortion. Then, two days later, the Court ordered annulled Art. 4(a) of the Sinaloa State Constitution which protected life from conception. (“From the moment an individual is conceived, he or she enters under the protection of the corresponding law, until his or her death.”)
What sort of financial incentives were offered by the abortion zealots in the Biden administration in return for these actions? If history is any guide, they were substantial.
The amparo also violates the Mexican Supreme Court’s earlier rulings. In 2007, in a case involving the decriminalization of abortion in the Federal District (Mexico City), the Court decided to return the issue to the states. In a ruling similar to the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe V. Wade in the U.S., the Court decreed that each Mexican state should decide for itself at what point in pregnancy to defend human life and whether or not to criminalize abortion. In the years following, the pro-life movement won victory after victory at the state level. By this year, no fewer than 23 of Mexico’s 32 states had passed laws protecting life from conception.
But, as we said, the Mexican Supreme Court changed its orientation in 2019. Already by 2021, Rodrigo Ivan Cortes, president of the National Front for the Family, and various pro-life leaders noted this radical change of the Court. The incomprehensible thing is that the judges are still the same, but “they were not congruent and respectful of their own sentences” and, for some reason, radically changed their minds. Before the nefarious influence of the Biden Administration, the Mexican Supreme Court had rejected similar initiatives, but now it welcomes and even promotes them.
It is evident that this is lawfare, judicial activism based on the interests of the government of the day. They advance step by step. Perhaps they took note of the failure of Roe v. Wade and are working so that in the future it will be more difficult to reverse these decisions of the Mexican Supreme Court.
Mexico’s abortionists have immense economic support. In the Infotecnia portal, it was reported that the 10 main pro-abortion organizations have received in the last years more than three thousand 700 million pesos (approx. 185 million USD) and 70% comes from abroad. Among the institutions that received the most resources are Mexfam (a branch of the IPPF), Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir and Gire. And these resources increase year by year, Gire received in 2008, almost 19 million pesos and in 2020 more than 50 million pesos. And all this according to official figures from the Mexican government.
Powerful funding, full backing from Biden’s foreign policy and unconditional support from the international press have not been enough, so far, to legalize abortion in Mexico. Now they have gone so far as to violate the law and still have a long way to go.
Even if the amparo is granted to GIRE, which we have already said is illegal, this ruling cannot be applied to other people. The amparo only applies to the person filing the appeal. It does not have the slightest power to force hospitals to perform abortions or to sanction doctors who do not want to do so.
Unfortunately, to twist the law even more, abortionists take note of another similar case, this time in Argentina. Before the 2018 and 2020 legislative battles, many judges were improperly applying what was called the “FAL Sentence” of the Argentine Supreme Court, which judged a particular case of a particular abortion, saying that no punishment should be applied to it. The abortionist trick was to say all over Argentina that the Court authorized any abortion anywhere in the country, when the FAL ruling was only talking about one particular woman in one particular province: Chubut. We fear that the Mexican Supreme Court is taking the same abusive path to give the idea that “abortion is now legal” in all of Mexico.
This is certainly a step in the direction of decriminalization of abortion in Mexico, but the truth is that this needs Congress to pass a law.
And no doubt Mexican pro-lifers will put up a fight, now and after a probable abortion law.
LifeNews Note: Carlos Beltramo, Ph.D., the Director of PRI’s European Office, and Carlos Polo, the Director of PRI’s Ibero-American Office, are the author’s of this piece. Visit the Population Research Institute.
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