Mexico’s supreme court has upheld a portion of the Baja California state constitution that says life begins at conception.
Seven justices on the 11-member court Wednesday deemed the measure unconstitutional, but eight votes were needed to overturn the measure, meaning that it stands.
Anti-abortion activists applauded the decision, while abortion rights supporters said they were in favor of laws that allow women to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy.
At least 16 Mexican states have adopted right-to-life amendments, although most continue to allow abortion under certain circumstances, such as rape or danger to a mother’s life.
In August 2008, the supreme court upheld Mexico City’s law legalizing abortion. The legislation allows abortions on demand during the first trimester of pregnancy.