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Mexico’s Landmark Abortion Decisions Were Like ‘Feminist Christmas’

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Last week, the Mexican Supreme Court issued two major decisions in support of reproductive rights for its citizens. First, on September 7, the Court ruled that a person who has an abortion cannot be criminally prosecuted. Then two days later, the Court rejected the idea of “personhood” for an embryo or fetus.

For activists (like the ones we hosted for a panel event in March) who have spent years fighting for these kinds of changes in Mexico and around the globe, the Court’s decisions were nothing short of revolutionary.

“I still have goosebumps,” said Melissa Ayala, 29, a lawyer who coordinates the litigation group at GIRE, one of Mexico’s leading reproductive justice organizations. In the following conversation, which has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity, Ayala shares her thoughts on these historic legal rulings and what’s next in the fight for reproductive rights in Mexico.

Rewire News Group: Where were you when you heard about the first Supreme Court decision?

Melissa Ayala: I was in my house in Mexico City, with my 8-month-old son, who was sleeping. I was listening to the hearings, and then I screamed and woke him up! I told my husband, “From now on, no woman will be prosecuted for having an abortion.” I couldn’t believe it.

And then another groundbreaking decision two days later! What are the most important aspects of these rulings that you want people to know?

MA: The most important thing is that you can no longer be punished through the penal code for having an abortion—that when we are........

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