Mexican court upholds emergency birth control pill for rape victims

Mexico City, May 28 (IANS/EFE) Mexico’s Supreme Court has upheld a federal regulation forcing public hospitals to offer the morning-after birth control pill to rape victims.

After six sessions of intense debate, 10 of the 11 magistrates Thursday backed regulation NOM-046, court sources told EFE.

The case began in June 2009, when the governor of Jalisco state, conservative Emilio Gonzalez, challenged the constitutionality of the regulation.

The governor opposed the move to provide emergency pills, a contraceptive method that the Catholic Church considers to be abortion.

In 1999, 13-year-old Paulina Ramirez, who became pregnant after being raped, decided to have an abortion in accord with legislation in the northern Baja California state, but doctors refused to conduct the procedure.

The case wound up in the hands of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which in 2005 ordered the Mexican state to pay an indemnity to the young woman to cover her expenses to take care of her son, Isaac, until he turns 18.