ADF International and its allies filed Amicus brief in support of existing prolife Mexican legislation – Initiative to grant “abortion on demand” struck down by Supreme Court
MEXICO CITY – On 28 June 2016, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice in Mexico decided in favour of protecting life at all stages. Justices voted three to one to strike down a pro-abortion initiative based on the appeal (“amparo”) of a 41 year-old woman who sought to abort her 20 week old unborn child at a public clinic. ADF International, Fundación Iusta Ratio, Pasos por la Vida, Red Familia, and ConParticipación y Derechos del Concebido filed an Amicus brief, an expert statement, arguing that the appeal was inadmissible due to procedural reasons.
“We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision and the fact that procedural problems in this case were acknowledged by a majority of the justices. The Court has no right to impose abortion on demand and should focus on maintaining the legal order of the country. The Court should not be used to legislate or create public policy,” said Sofia Martinez, Legal Counsel with ADF International, who helped draft the Amicus brief.
Human life deserves protection at all stages
“Human life deserves protection at all stages. There is no such thing as a ‘human right’ to abortion. Every child has a right to life and it is our duty to safeguard this fundamental right. We are glad that no legal precedent was set that would allow abortion on demand,” Martinez added.
Background: A push towards legalizing abortion
In the case of Amparo en Revisión 1388/2015 the Court found no circumstance allowing an abortion under the Federal Criminal Code. While the capital Mexico City has allowed abortion within three months of conception since 2007, it is prohibited throughout the rest of the country except for exceptional cases in which the mother’s life is in danger. Although her child was diagnosed with Klinefelter syndrome, a chromosomal disorder, the life of neither mother nor child were in danger.
The woman eventually had the abortion at a private clinic. Afterwards, she filed an “amparo”, a judicial appeal claiming that her human rights were violated by not having been granted an abortion funded by public money. Local judges in the first and second instances denied the application.
Supreme Court Justice Arturo Zaldivar took on the case in a bid to push towards legalizing abortion in Mexico. He argued that the woman should have been able to file an appeal on the grounds of the “psychological and social side effects” she had to suffer due to the denial of the abortion. The other judges disagreed and voted against the proposal, recognizing the obvious procedural problems that were pointed out in ADF International’s Amicus brief.