MEXICO – Supreme Court rules that risk to health is grounds for the right to a legal abortion

The Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE) has written to share another historic win for abortion in the Mexican Supreme Court! They report:

Margarita’s doctor told her that if she continued the pregnancy, she was at risk of serious health complications – pre-eclampsia, diabetes, small bowel obstruction, thrombosis and malnutrition. Yet she was denied an abortion. Six years after she was denied a legal abortion, the Mexican Supreme Court released a unanimous ruling on 15 May 2019 in favour of the legal stay presented by GIRE. The ruling confirms that the denial of abortion when a woman’s health is at risk is not only a violation of this right, but also a violation of her right to life, personal integrity, non-discrimination and reproductive autonomy. The ruling emphasized that “risk to health” not just “risk to life” was grounds for this right.

The ruling was overwhelmingly positive, recognizing from a gender perspective that, for women, the right to health must include access to abortion when their health is at risk. The Court also emphasized women’s specific need for reproductive health services and the impact that the denial of abortion when their health is at risk has on their lives.

This case also demonstrates the unwavering dedication of GIRE’s team. For six years, we were committed to securing justice for Margarita, and as a result, we will now be able to use this ruling to ensure that public health institutions guarantee abortion services to all women whose health is at risk, upon their request.

SOURCE: E-mail from Regina Tames, Executive Director, GIRE, Mexico, 16 May 2019