by Ana Isabel Martinez | Reuters
MEXICO CITY – Thousands of women demonstrated Tuesday in several Latin American cities to celebrate the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, an area where the procedure is fully permitted in a handful of countries.
In Mexico City, women with shields and riot helmets marched to the historic center under police watch. Authorities have put up protective fencing on some prominent buildings and monuments that have been spray-painted during demonstrations in the past.
“I still don’t know if I want to be a mother, but I want the right to decide,” read a sign held by a young woman with a green scarf around her neck.
Earlier this month Mexico’s Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to criminalize abortion and, soon after, the government said those jailed for terminating a pregnancy would be released.
Hundreds of other women marched in other parts of Mexico, including the cities of Cuernavaca and Veracruz.
Every year, thousands of women in Latin America die from unsafe abortions, at a time when teen pregnancies and sexual violence are increasing in the region.
In Colombia, where abortion is permitted only in cases of rape, risk to the mother’s life, or birth defects, about 800 women marched towards the center of Bogota.
“Women are reminding states and societies that we are full citizens, not second-class, and that we should not be able to abort, voluntarily abort pregnancy, about our bodies, about our lives, and about our maternity wards. have the right to decide.” Ita María Diaz, leader of the Bogota demonstration, said.
A march was also held in Chile, where the lower house of Congress agreed to debate a bill to decriminalize abortion. Abortion-Rules-2021-09-28 After pregnancy up to 14 weeks.
Scores of people flagged off El Salvador and marched from San Salvador on their way to Congress to demand the relaxation of the country’s “strict” abortion laws.
Salvador protesters, holding banners saying “we have the right to decide” and “legal abortion, safe and free”, sought to pressure legislators to reduce one of the world’s strictest abortion laws, which There is a prohibition on termination of pregnancy in cases of rape and even if the mother’s life is in danger.
Resolutions taken in the Salvadoran Congress are named “Beatr’s Reform” in honor of a young woman who in 2013 openly called for an abortion to save her life because she was suffering from a chronic illness that lasted four years. He later took his life.
“We are calling for minimal measures to be added to the penal code to guarantee the lives and integrity of women,” Morena Herrera, a prominent feminist from Salvador, told reporters.
“It does not require constitutional reform. This can be done now and if it is true that there is independence of powers, then the Legislative Assembly should answer,” she said.
Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele earlier this month rejected any amendments to abortion laws his government is planning as part of controversial constitutional changes.
But many of the more than 20 Latin American countries still ban abortion outright, including El Salvador, which has sentenced some women to up to 40 years in prison.