Thousands of women march for abortion rights
MEXICO CITY (AP):
The streets of cities across Latin America were bathed in green Thursday as tens of thousands of women marched to commemorate International Safe Abortion Day.
Latin American feminists have spent decades fighting to roll back strict prohibitions, although there are still few countries with a total ban, like El Salvador and Dominican Republic.
In Mexico, marchers celebrated the recent decision by Mexico’s Supreme Court to decriminalise abortions at the federal level. In Argentina, marchers had a more sombre tone, worrying that the strength of a populist far-right presidential candidate going into elections in October could signal peril after years of work by feminists.
Abortion was the heart of the protests, but crowds of women also raised alarm about the region’s high rates of gender-based violence, as well as abuses aimed at LGBTQ+ communities.
Green smoke floated over a roaring crowd of thousands of women in Mexico City who waved green handkerchiefs, which have become the symbol of Latin America’s “green wave” abortion movement. Signs reading, “It’s my decision” and “Free and safe abortions for everyone” speckled the crowd.
The march came just weeks after Mexico’s Supreme Court knocked down all federal criminal penalties for abortion, ruling that national laws prohibiting the procedure are unconstitutional and violate women’s rights. The move will also require federal health institutions to offer abortion to anyone who requests it.
“It’s absolutely an achievement,” said Fernanda Castro, an organiser at GIRE, the women’s rights organisation that brought forward the lawsuit before Mexico’s high court. “And now we have another even more important fight, decriminalising abortion in the minds of the people.”