Human Rights Policy and Nonprofit Organizational Development

Mexican Supreme Court official decision on abortion law released

In Policy Blog on March 11, 2009 at 9:18 pm

The Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (Mexico’s Supreme Court) has released its final decision in the form of a case file (click here for pdf), compiled by Justice Aguirre Anguiano and reviewed by the other justices.  The decriminalization of abortion in Mexico City was challenged by the Ombudsman of the National Human Rights Commission and by the National Attorney General.  One of the Attorney General’s claims had to do with the Legislature’s standing to change health code.  The Ombudsman claimed that the law violated the constitutional right to life, and the right to life under international human rights agreements.  

The constitutional right to life under the Mexican constitution was one of the most important lynchpins in the arguments of most of the justices who found in favor of the law’s constitutionality.  Several justices explicitly recognized the right to life in the Mexican constitution, but clarified that there was nothing in the constitution to prioritize it above any other constitutional goods or rights.

International commitments were also mentioned in several of the justices’ findings.  This in itself is significant, as it adds legitimacy to international law within the national constitutional framework (as the Supreme Court is considered a constitutional court).

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