By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
MEXICO CITY, August 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A majority of justices serving on the Supreme Court of Mexico have now stated their support for the constitutionality of Mexico City’s abortion legislation, which depenalizes abortion on demand up to the 12th week of gestation.
At publication time, seven of the eleven justices had indicated that they would vote in favor of the law. Only four such votes were necessary to sustain it.
Members of the socialist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in the nation’s Chamber of Deputies celebrated the anticipated verdict and predicted that abortion would be legalized in Mexico’s 31 states.
The justices rejected arguments by the nation’s Justice Department (PGR) and Human Rights Commission (CNDH), who argued that the law violated human rights and exceeded Mexico City’s jurisdiction, as well as a 610-page brief formulated by Justice Sergio Salvador Aguirre Anguiano, which argued that the law violated the nation’s constitution and international human rights agreements.
Pro-life forces reportedly intend to follow the judgment by pushing for a referendum in the capital city, where opinion polls show that a strong majority is opposed to abortion.
Immediately before and during the final deliberations, which continue today, the Catholic bishops issued unprecedented appeals on national television regarding the right to life.
"Without the gift of life, every opportunity is extinguished. Without the gift of life, it is impossible to exercise other rights," said Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, head of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, in a television address Sunday.
"Today the Mexican government and all of the institutions with the responsibility for the respect, security, and defense of life, are passing through a lamentable crisis of credibility," the bishops stated yesterday.
Linking the abortion issue to the problem of rising levels of violence in Mexican society, the bishops added, "Society is tired of speeches that only offer us half-solutions, much of which tragically remain in the inkwell…today as citizens, we can construct a future in which we walk through our streets and avenues without fear of being tortured, attacked, raped, kidnapped, and murdered."
As the justices announced their support for the law, María de la Paz Quiñones, a representative in the nation’s Chamber of Deputies, led pro-lifers in a protest in Zocalo, Mexico City’s main square. The protesters placed crosses on the ground, representing the more than 12,000 unborn children who have perished under the city’s abortion depenalization law.
Although the pro-life side was losing, Quiñones expressed optimism.
"The struggle for life has been and always will be our purpose, and we will continue struggling for it. Today we are sure that in the discussion of the justices the law will prevail over every other interest," she told the newspaper Cronica.
The Eleven Justices of the Supreme Court of Mexico:
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Previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Latin America in the Balance: Mexican Supreme Court Deliberates on Abortion Constitutionality
Mexico City Pilgrimage to Protest Abortion Law to be Held this Sunday
1 Year of Legal Abortion in Mexico: 6400 Legal Abortions, 22 Injuries, 8 Dead Mothers
Catholic Church in Mexico Demands Physicians Resist Mexico City Abortion Law