On September 28, hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets across Latin America to commemorate the International Safe Abortion Day and to demand decriminalization and legalization of abortion in the region. Wearing green scarves, the women campaigned for legal, safe, and free abortions.
Of the 33 countries in Latin America, only Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Guyana, some states in Mexico, and Uruguay allow elective abortion. Countries such as Chile, Ecuador, and Venezuela allow abortion in circumstances such as rape or health risks to the mother. In nations such as the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Suriname, abortion is completely banned and criminalized.
Feminist movements in the region have been struggling for decades for reproductive rights. Thousands of women in Latin America—generally the marginalized—access unsafe and clandestine abortions.
In Argentina, women took to the streets in defense of the right to abortion, achieved in 2020 after over 20 years of organizing. In the case of a victory by far-right libertarian Javier Milei in the October presidential elections, there could be a setback in abortion rights.
In Brazil, feminists marched to demand abortion rights. Currently, the country’s Supreme Court is debating the decriminalization of abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
In Chile, women mobilized for abortion rights, which are at risk of being overturned if the current constitutional draft is approved in the December referendum.
In Mexico, women hit the streets to celebrate the recent decision by the Supreme Court to decriminalize abortions at the national level.