Mexico Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal of Patricia Mendez

When Patricia Mendez, age 21, miscarried in March 2015, she says police and detectives were called into the hospital ward to watch as she writhed in pain and expelled the dead, 20-week fetus, doing nothing to help her. She was made to sign some papers afterwards and then, she said, a nurse held the fetus to her face and said: “Kiss him. You have killed him.” Then her ex-boyfriend’s family held a funeral for the fetus, that she was forced to attend.

“I have never seen anything like that,” said Veronica Cruz, a human rights lawyer from the Centro Las Libres de Información en Salud Sexual Región Centro, who is representing Mendez. “They performed a whole funeral and they opened the casket to make her look at the fetus.

The law on abortion in Veracruz state, where Mendez miscarried, calls for unspecified “educational measures” for women who abort. Mendez’s lawyers hoped to get Mexico’s Supreme Court to overturn that state law, but on 7 September the court declined to hear the case and returned it to the courts in Veracruz.

Mendez was charged with having an abortion and could potentially be subjected to the “educational measures” provided for by the Veracruz law. Nobody really knows what the term means, since it is not defined and has yet to be enforced. So far Mendez’s legal team has stalled the charges through appeals. After the Supreme Court refused to hear the case it’s not clear what will happen, lawyers say.

… Earlier this year in the northern state of Sonora, a judge issued a ruling denying a 13-year-girl a legal abortion on the grounds that she was not a victim of rape but of statutory rape.

SOURCE: Washington Post AP, by Maria Verza, 7 September 2016

ARTĺCULO, 30 Junio de 2016 + PHOTO: Gardenia Mendoza / Impremedia