Regulation on conscientious objection, a key piece to guarantee the right to health and freedom of judgment: Elizabeth Pérez

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Mexico.- By legislating on conscientious objection, a key piece is established to guarantee the rights to health and freedom of judgment, without these taking precedence, said representative Elizabeth Pérez Valdez, vice coordinator of the PRD Parliamentary Group.

The deputy recalled that conscientious objection has to do with the reason or argument, of an ethical or religious nature, that a health professional can add to oppose provisions such as the termination of pregnancy.

He highlighted that this reform to the General Health Law is a great advance in the protection of the full exercise of human rights, particularly of women, girls, people with pregnancy disabilities and members of sexual and gender diversity.

“The PRD recognizes the absolute need to guarantee the unrestricted right to health and, particularly, reproductive health. A power that, historically, has been denied to women,” he said in a statement.

Representative Olga Luz Espinosa Morales, secretary of the Board of Directors, emphasized that, in no case, conscientious objection should become an obstacle for women and girls who are victims of sexual violence or who want to assert their rights.

The federal legislator presented a dozen reservations to the opinion prepared by the Health Commission, after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation declared, in September 2021, the invalidity of article 10 bis of the General Health Law, “for not establishing clear limits on the exercise of conscientious objection by professionals in the field.

“It is a ruling that, as they have said, comes to correct a ruling of the Supreme Court; But we are making, once again, mistakes because there are impressive legal loopholes.”

“The wording of article 10 Bis does not stipulate that conscientious objection guarantees the fundamental right to health, and leaves a void that can translate into referrals or delays that compromise the care of those who require the provision of the service.”

"It also leaves Mexico City out of the wording, since it only refers to the 'federative entities', to the Federation, but at no time does it mention Mexico City or its districts."

There is no obligation to implement a “protocol” that specifies the formal requirements for the exercise of conscientious objection, the information that objecting medical personnel must provide when registering as such, the grounds for which they need to object, and, in this way, avoid it being “institutional”.

A minimum percentage of objecting personnel would have to be established, in order to guarantee the right to health; Likewise, that peremptory deadlines be defined. “The text states that it must be a period according to the need for the service; but it does not indicate whether six hours, 12 hours, 24, 36 or whatever you like,” he said.

“From the PRD we will continue to ensure the rights of women and girls in this country, so that they can exercise the right to health freely,” Espinosa Morales concluded.

With information from the Chamber of Deputies

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