Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

News,

Mexican Supreme Court strikes down state pro-life constitutional amendment

Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

April 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Mexico's Supreme Court has declared that the state of Queretaro's pro-life constitutional amendment is "invalid" because lawmakers did not receive the approval of a sufficient number of state municipal governments before announcing its promulgation.

In an 8-3 decision, the court ruled that only two of the state's municipal governments gave their assent to the amendment directly, while the others approved the verdict of constitutionality issued by a legislative committee, which the court claims was not a valid approval of the amendment itself.

The amendment was ultimately approved directly by two thirds of the municipalities, but not before the promulgation of the law, according to the justices, who are called "ministers".

This procedural error "is considered sufficient to conclude that there was a serious violation of the legislative process that must be considered sufficient to declare the process invalid," the ruling majority concluded.

According to the constitution of Queretaro, the approval of a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority in the state legislature, as well as the approval of two thirds of the state's municipal governments.

Minister Perez Dayan disagreed with the majority, stating that the irregularities in the process were not significant enough to invalidate the amendment, because the amendment was approved by them after the fact, according to Proceso magazine. The other two ministers voted against considering the case, apparently regarding it as meritless.

The amendment reads: "The state of Queretaro recognizes, protects and guarantees the right to life of every human being from the moment of fertilization as a protected right, and (the unborn) are regarded as having been born for all corresponding legal effects until death."

The ruling against the Queretaro amendment does not bode well for the right to life in Mexico's Supreme Court.

In previous decisions seven of the eleven ministers have ruled against state pro-life amendments, one vote short of the eight necessary to overturn a state law.  However, the current vote suggests that an eight-minister majority now exists with the willingness to overturn pro-life amendments on minor technical grounds, with only three willing to defend them.

Currently, seventeen of Mexico's 31 states have passed pro-life constitutional amendments in response to the legalization of the killing of the unborn in the nation's Federal District, Mexico City, in 2007.  Since that time, over 90,000 unborn children have died at the hands of abortionists in the nation's capital.

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