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Mexican Supreme Court strikes down abortion laws at behest of US-funded pro-abortion group

The overturning of protections for the right to life of the unborn are part of a broader anti-family trend that has engulfed Mexico in the last ten years, and which seems to have accelerated profoundly since 2016.

The Mexican Supreme Court building in Mexico City. (Image: Thelmadatter/Wikipedia)

The Mexican Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a new ruling nullifying criminal penalties for abortion in federal law, in response to a lawsuit brought by an abortion activist group funded with millions of dollars in American foundation grants.

The decision, which was determined in a unanimous vote by the First Chamber of the National Supreme Court of Justice, decreed that penalties for abortion, applied either to the woman or the abortionist, are unconstitutional.

“The First Chamber of the Court decided that the judicial system that penalizes abortion in the Federal Penal Code is unconstitutional, because it violates the human rights of women and people capable of gestating” declared the court through its Twitter/X feed.

The inclusion of “people capable of gestating” appears to have been made in reference to transgender “men,” that is, women who claim to be men.

Current federal law penalizes the killing of the unborn with prison time from six months to five years for the mother, and from two to five years for medical personnel who participate.

The lawsuit was filed by the “Information Group on Reproductive Choice” (“Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida” or “GIRE”). GIRE has received over three million dollars from the U.S.-based MacArthur Foundation since 1994, according to the foundation’s own website. Additional funding has come from the Channel Foundation in cooperation with the Tides Foundation, and also the Hewlett Foundation. Merck, a pharmaceutical company, gave the group about 45,000 USD in April of last year.

The National Front for the Family denounced the ruling as “supreme injustice,” and stated that the decision, which was not voted on by the entire court, does not apply universally under Mexican law.

“The first chamber of the #SCJN (Supreme Court) is committing a Supreme Injustice, violating the constitution and the appellate law to favor the country’s principal abortionist organization,” wrote Rodrigo Ivan Cortes, President of the National Front for the Family.

Cortes claimed that the ruling “doesn’t have an ‘erga omnes’ (universal) effect,” but added that nonetheless, “it is an attack against the life of the most defenseless, innocent, and vulnerable.”

The Mexican bishops’ conference (CEM) also argued that the decision was only effective for legal clients of GIRE, holding that “the appeal ruling does not constitute a general declaration of invalidity of the laws that prohibit abortion in Federal Penal Code, because they continue to be valid for the rest of the population; nor do they represent an obligation for the state congresses to hurry to decriminalize abortion in their respective penal codes.”

The bishops did not denounce the elimination of such penalties, even for the abortionists, but argued that abortion can be prohibited without imposition of prison time for offenders.

In contrast, GIRE made broader claims for its court victory. “Incredible! The federal institutions throughout the country will have to offer abortion services to women and people capable of gestating who request it,” the organization declared on its X feed. This interpretation was cited in many mainstream media articles on the decision.

Minister Arturo Zaldívar, one of the five judges of the First Chamber of the court and an open political ally of GIRE, also suggested that the decision is considered universally binding in some way, but hinted that penalty-exempt abortions would be limited to certain circumstances.

“With this unanimous judgment by the Constitutional Tribunal, not only are the rules invalidated that were under discussion, but an obligatory standard is established for all of the judges of the country,” said Zaldívar during the hearing. “From now on, it is not possible to prosecute a woman who has an abortion in the circumstances that this constitutional tribunal has considered valid.”

Zaldívar has done little to hide his own ideologically-charged perspective on such matters. He announced the decision on his X feed with a triumphant reference to the radical feminist “green wave” movement, and also mentioned transgender men. “The green wave continues to advance,” wrote Zaldívar, adding three green hearts, a symbol also used by GIRE. “All rights for all women and gestating people! “Until equality and dignity become normal!”

Mexican states have been rapidly eliminating penalties for abortion since the Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that criminal penalties cannot be applied to such pregnancies in the first trimester, overturning constitutional amendments in the states of Coahuila and Sinaloa protecting the unborn. A total of 12 states now permit the deadly procedure. A majority of Mexican states still have constitutional amendments protecting the right to life of the unborn, but Wednesday’s ruling is likely to accelerate the reversal of such amendments.

The overturning of protections for the right to life of the unborn are part of a broader anti-family trend that has engulfed Mexico in the last ten years, and which seems to have accelerated profoundly since 2016, when Pope Francis visited the country and expressed support for divorced and remarried couples receiving communion.

Following his visit, a new apostolic nuncio discouraged protests against homosexual “marriage” and encouraged dialogue. Since 2016, the country’s divorce rate has increased significantly, and the marriage rate has dropped, while pro-LGBT rulings and legislation have triumphed throughout the country. The country’s Catholic bishops now give only muted responses, if any.

The recent ascendance in Mexican politics of the socialist MORENA party, which generally supports the legalization of abortion, appears to have been the impetus for the dramatic change of attitude of the Supreme Court regarding the right to life, which had affirmed in repeated rulings as late as 2016 that the states had a right to prohibit the killing of the unborn in most circumstances.

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About Matthew Cullinan Hoffman 30 Articles
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman is a Catholic essayist and journalist, and the author and translator of The Book of Gomorrah and St. Peter Damian's Struggle Against Ecclesiastical Corruption (2015). His award-winning articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, London Sunday Times, Catholic World Report, LifeSite News, Crisis, the National Catholic Register, and many other publications. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, with a focus on Thomism.


  1. The Foundations of Death continue to assert their powers over life. Selfishness rules.
    The presence of human life will be gasping in about 50 years.

  2. What is described here is the measure of the circle in power.

    You can gauge if you are measuring your engagement with it prudently and if your own peers are able to grasp what they are faced with, intelligently.

    And you can see who de facto co-operates with it.

    ‘ The archdiocesan newspaper was unstinting in its reflection on López Obrador: “He is not afraid of being ridiculous, which has become a form of governance. With the response he gave, which we all know, to the matter of the five young people who disappeared in Lagos de Moreno, he not only shows a lack of sensitivity but also perversion.”


    “Mockery, not taking things seriously, laughing at others’ misfortune (children with cancer, for example) has become one of his means (calling them a strategy is going too far) to ‘answer’ when he does not want to, cannot, or does not know how to do so,” the paper contended. ‘

  3. “People capable of gestating”???? So far in human history, the word for this is “woman”. If at some point this applies to anyone else, the correct term for those folks would be “mental cases”. The apostolic nuncio also sounds like a dim bulb. Both the Pope and his minions have been derelict in their responsibilities to pass on the true faith.Lets hope for better in the next administration of the church. Mexico has been running downhill for decades. When my husband and I toured Mexico City and the environs 35 years ago, we went to the shine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and were instructed by the Mexican guide to buy NOTHING at the church. The fact that the Bishops are too cowardly to speak out in any way is not helpful. But then, the pope is more interested in placating the secular than in spreading the truth.

    • Mexico is experiencing the same secular troubles we face and the same sort of pressure from anti family lobbying groups. Economically speaking Mexico is doing much better. Faith wise,not so much. But that’s similar to our situation and the developed world also.
      Just curious, what was the reason given by the guide to not purchase items at the OLOG giftshops? Thank you.

    • Agree, LJ, about the cowardice of Mexico’s bishops, not to stand up to the secular culture there and also to the Pope and his nuncio for abetting the downward slide of that country by their comments. Would that Bishops in Mexico and everywhere the courage of the Ukrainian Bishops who were not afraid to rightly call out Francis for the harm his statements has caused in their country.

  4. Fish rots from the head down.
    Apparently, it too much to ask of this bogus “seamless garment” pontificate to help the unborn.
    A whole population of Blessed Ulma kids are being wiped out and almost no one in charge around the world seems to care. Many politicians and judges are abandoning the political lie of “safe, legal and rare” to even admit they like abortion. We can never join the Bishops who buddy up and refuse to share the Gospel with the green scarf crowd.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Mexican Supreme Court strikes down abortion laws at behest of US-funded pro-abortion group – Via Nova
  3. Must-Read Catholic Books, God Reveals His Plan for the Virgin Mary to the Angels, Death Date of Ulma Family Seen as Significant, and More Great Links! - JP2 Catholic Radio

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