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Harvard: Abortion Battles in Mexico and Beyond -The Role of Law and the Courts

Battles over sexual and reproductive health, particularly abortion rights, are occurring around the world. Mexico has witnessed heated political and legal mobilization by both progressive and conservative forces on the issue of abortion in recent years. In 2007, Mexico City decriminalized abortion in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. The Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico subsequently upheld that law’s constitutionality, triggering a series of state laws imposing draconian restrictions on abortion. Although abortion in cases of rape had been defined as an “emergency medical service” under federal legislation, women and girls found it difficult in practice to obtain services. In May of this year, the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico issued two important decisions relating to cases of adolescents who had been raped, clarifying that denial of abortions in cases of sexual assault violated both international human rights law and the Mexican Constitution.

This event brings two sitting justices on the Mexican Supreme Court, Justice Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena and Justice González Alcántara, to discuss the holdings, implications, and context for these recent decisions, as well the Court’s evolving role in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and in particular abortion. To situate the discussion, two other panels will discuss:

This event is open to the public, but registration is required.

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