“The decision does not automatically make abortion legal across Mexico, experts said, but it does set a binding precedent for judges across the country. Abortion rights advocates said they planned to use the ruling to challenge laws in the vast majority of Mexican states that mandate jail time or other criminal penalties for women who have the procedure.

For now, analysts said, women arrested for having an abortion can sue state authorities to have the charges dropped. Activists also plan to push state authorities to free women now serving prison terms for having had abortions.

The Mexican Supreme Court’s decision is likely to reverberate across Latin America, where victories by women’s rights movements in one country often catalyze efforts in others. The legalization of abortion in Argentina last year was celebrated in other nations, and the green handkerchiefs brandished by activists there have become widespread at women’s protests across the region, including in Mexico.”

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