Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that rape victims between the ages of 12 and 17 must be allowed abortions without parental consent.
Judges declared the regulation constitutional, dismissing legal challenges filed by authorities in two of the country’s states.
“In rape cases, no girl can be forced to become a mother, neither by the state nor by her parents, mother or guardian,” Supreme Court President Arturo Zaldivar said during a hearing.
The regulation, adopted in 2009, requires public hospitals to give abortions to rape victims who request them and swear under oath to tell the truth about the circumstances, without the need for a court order.
Parental permission is required in cases of girls under the age of 12.
The states that challenged the rules, Baja California and Aguascalientes, argued that they infringed on their criminal jurisdiction as well as the rights of parents.
But Zaldivar said the regulation ensured “a quick and effective response” to guarantee women’s rights.
“Forcing women or girls to carry a pregnancy resulting from rape to term implies a total disregard of their human dignity… in addition to being re-victimization and a form of gender violence,” he said.
Mexico’s Supreme Court has issued several rulings in favor of legal abortion.
In September 2021 it declared the laws criminalizing the procedure unconstitutional, authorizing it de facto throughout the conservative Latin American country.
Eight of Mexico’s 32 states have decriminalized abortion, starting with Mexico City in 2007 and, most recently, Guerrero, one of the country’s poorest regions, this month.