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Nuevo Leon pro-choice activists The initiative is just one part of a comprehensive campaign by Nuevo León activists to get the state's laws in line with a 2021 Supreme Court ruling that criminalizing abortion is illegal. File photo

Nuevo León activists bring abortion decriminalization initiative to state congress

Activists used International Safe Abortion Day to present an initiative demanding women's right to choose

Within the context of International Safe Abortion Day, Nuevo León activists presented an initiative calling on state congressional leaders to decriminalize abortion.

Activist groups, including the Group for Information on Reproduction Choice (GIRE), are also filing a lawsuit in the local courts demanding the reform of state law to align with a 2021 Supreme Court ruling that criminalizing abortion was unconstitutional.

Their action comes after a November decision by local courts, which provided pro-choice activists with a win in the case of a Nuevo León woman. The ruling stated that her rights to a future abortion would be protected.

Activists say that such individual cases are important but that the momentum around this issue has meant that they are bringing collective suits for all women of the state and not solely on a case-by-case basis.

“We are filing legal action as organizations, collectives, and associations with the objective that if we win — which we hope we will — that abortion as a crime will be declared invalid in the entire state … that we might achieve [the lawś] application to everyone in the state,” said Melissa Ayala, a lawyer for GIRE.

The class-action suits are also fighting for access to abortion through federal health services like IMSS and ISSTE, who activists say, even in states that protect abortion, often will not provide them for their clients.

A group of 11 senators from across the political spectrum are currently working on proposed changes to the country’s General Health Law that would guarantee access to all reproductive services in federal entities.

Legal actions such as these are also being brought by groups in Aguascalientes, Puebla, Chihuahua, Chiapas, San Luis Potosí, Morelos, Jalisco, Sonora, and Querétaro. If they succeed, they will join Mexico City, Oaxaca, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Baja California, Colima, Sinaloa, Guerrero and Baja California Sur in legalizing abortion, meaning two-thirds of Mexico’s states will have at least some protections of women’s right to choose.

Today, on International Safe Abortion Day, citizens will march across the country in favor of legal and safe abortions for Mexico’s residents. Protests are planned in Mexico City, Toluca, Pachuca, and Guanajuato among many other locations.

With reports from Aristegui Noticias and Animal Politico

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