Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Tuesday that penalizing abortion is unconstitutional.
The decision means that courts can no longer prosecute abortion cases, and follows the historic legalization of the right in Argentina, which took effect earlier this year.
Arturo Zaldivar, president of the Mexican Supreme Court, hailed the decision as “a watershed moment” for all women, especially the most vulnerable.
The vote by the 10 judges present stemmed from a 2018 case challenging a criminal law on abortion in Coahuila, a northern Mexican state which borders Texas, which has just tightened its laws.
With some 100 million Catholics, Mexico is the largest predominantly Catholic country after Brazil. The Catholic Church opposes all forms of abortion procedures.
Hundreds of mostly poor Mexican women have been prosecuted for abortion, while at least several dozen remain jailed.