MEXICO CITY, September 14, 2011 ( – The Mexican Supreme Court appears to be on the verge of overturning two state constitutional amendments that protect the right to life from the moment of conception, according to national media sources.

The judge assigned to write the outline of a verdict on the cases has reportedly written that “one cannot give preeminence to any right—not even the right to life—over other constitutional rights.”

Basing his reasoning on international law and Mexico’s recent reform enshrining “human rights” at the constitutional level, Fernando Franco González reportedly claims that while “the protection of life in general is a valid constitutional end,” it is “invalid to treat the unborn as a juridical person.”

González argues that the Mexican Constitution as well as international institutions do not regard the unborn child as an “individual” and that therefore state constitutions cannot confer “rights on a group of ‘subjects’ that aren’t recognized by the Supreme Norm.”

He also claims that the amendments “degrade” women “to a determined role and imposes upon them a disproportionate burden,” which is “incompatible not only with the dignity of women (especially those who don’t want to procreate), but also with their individual rights and fundamental liberties, concretely their reproductive liberty, protected in the constitution and in treaties.”

The proposed verdicts would apply to the pro-life constitutions of the states of San Luis Potosí and Baja California. 

San Luís Potosí‘s pro-life amendment, passed in 2009 in response to the legalization of abortion on demand in Mexico City, protects the unborn from the moment of conception, but makes exceptions in cases of rape, accidental miscarriage, or danger to the life of the mother.

The proposed verdict, which is not in its final form, must be ratified by eight of the court’s eleven justices to take effect.


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