Postcard from Mexico: The US threat to abortion rights

Revisiting Roe v Wade could set back Latin America’s progress towards a more enlightened stance, says Melissa Ayala Garcia

The World Today Published 27 May 2022 2 minute READ

Melissa Ayala Garcia

Human rights lawyer based in Mexico City who specializes in feminist legal theory

While attending law school Roe v Wade was a touchstone piece of law. I would constantly revisit it, trying to decode the US Supreme Court’s legal arguments. I wanted to understand why the justices had argued for the right to have an abortion, and how that could be applied to Mexico. 

The Supreme Court draft that was leaked last month made me feel a roller-coaster of emotions since it is proof that conservatives can strip away our rights. And it has come at a time when Latin American women are seeing some gains on abortion rights.

The Mexican legal system may surprise you. Its constitution, laws and statutes are more progressive than you may think in a region where women’s roles have been predominantly defined by the traditions of the Church, and for a country where the femicide rate rose last year even as the murder rate dropped. 

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