Mexican Court Turns Down UN-Backed Abortion Lawsuit

Mexican Court Turns Down UN-Backed Abortion Lawsuit

A pro-abortion lawsuit backed by various UN offices has been dismissed by the Supreme Court of Mexico. The lawsuit sought to overturn protections for the unborn in the State of Veracruz.

The suit alleged that that legal protections for children in the womb are a form of gender-based violence and a violation of international law. The suite was backed by international abortion groups and three UN agencies—UN Women, the UN Population Fund, and the UN agency for drugs and crime—as well as the UN human rights office.

The UN agencies confirmed their support for the lawsuit to the Friday Fax in 2018. Backing such a lawsuit very likely violates a U.S. law that prohibits recipients of U.S. taxpayer dollars from lobbying for or against abortion.

Two years ago, Mexican abortion groups sued the Veracruz government to allow abortion on demand in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. They claimed the state legislature of Veracruz had “violated international law” and “caused violence against women” by keeping abortion out of a nationally mandated gender-based violence program in 2016.

The lawsuit was initially successful. A district court judge ordered the state of Veracruz to make abortion legal in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. The judge cited the non-binding opinions of international human rights bodies, even though UN agreements recognize abortion as an exclusively national issue and international experts dispute such claims as baseless.

The three UN agencies and the UN human rights office publicly supported the order of the district court judge to the legislature of Veracruz in April 2018, putting the weight of the entire UN system in favor of decriminalizing abortion.

In a joint press statement the UN entities supported the judge’s demand that Veracruz “guarantee” access to abortion to women and girls as way to “support efforts to improve and realize women´s right to health” based on “international standards on human rights.

Their statement may have violated a U.S. law known as the Siljander Amendment. The Siljander amendment prohibits recipients of U.S. foreign aid, including UN agencies, from lobbying for or against abortion. The four agencies receive over $200 million from U.S. taxpayers annually.

The Mexican Supreme Court did not pronounce on the merits of the case and dismissed it on a technicality and left open the possibility that it may side with abortion groups in the future.

“I agree that international treaties are binding on the Mexican State and they seek to protect women and eliminate all forms of violence,” explained justice Norma Lucía Piña, who wrote the majority opinion. But she explained “we are not taking a decision on the merits, nor do we disagree on the protection of women.”

“We thank God that the Supreme Court preserved legal protections for human life in the womb,” read a statement of the Catholic Bishops of Mexico released last week following the decision.

The Bishops’ statement urged public authorities and the people of Mexico to remain vigilant in a time of “great challenges” and entrusted the country to the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Currently only 2 out of 32 Mexican States allow abortion on-demand in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, and 17 States explicitly protect children in the women “from the moment of conception.”