The members of Mexico's Supreme Court on Sept. 28 rejected a decision that would have legalized abortion in the country.
By a 7 to 4 margin, the judges struck down a proposal by Supreme Justice Fernando Franco, which declared that the states' legal shields against abortion were unconstitutional, and that abortion should be legal nationwide—up to the ninth month of pregnancy.
Debates over Justice Franco's motion started on Sept. 26 among the 11-member Supreme Court and ended on Wednesday at noon, when Supreme justice Jorge Pardo forcefully argued against the measure.
Before Justice Pardo's speech, five judges expressed support for Franco's draft, while only three were against.
Justice Pardo noted that article 7 of the Mexican constitution recognized protection of the unborn. He rejected the idea that the states' efforts to protect the life of the unborn were creating new rights.
The judge also made the case for the federal nature of the Mexican government, highlighting that the Mexican Constitution “protects the states in exercising their freedom to establish the starting point of the right to life.”
On April 2007, the Legislative Assembly of Mexico's capital made abortion legal until the 12th week of pregnancy. That same year the Supreme Court ruled that there was nothing in the Constitution that would prevent any Mexican state from legalizing abortion.
The decision sparked a legal effort among Mexico's 31 states to create legal shields to prevent abortion from being legalized.
By 2011, 18 Mexican states had approved amendments to their constitutions explicitly protecting the unborn from the moment of conception.