Hundreds of women marched through Mexico City on Saturday to demand a complete end to the country’s ban on abortion. They chanted calls for greater women’s rights and held up green hankerchiefs bearing the slogan “Legalise Abortion”.
Many areas of Mexico have highly restrictive laws on abortion. In Mexico City it’s been legal since 2007 to abort within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. And lawmakers in the southern state of Oaxaca voted just last week to follow suit. But in the rest of the country it’s against the law, except in the case of rape.
Saturday’s rally was aimed at pressurising the authorities to make it legal everywhere in Mexico. The march was mostly peaceful, although a small group of demonstrators broke away and vandalised a number of stores.
Elsewhere in the region, three Central American countries have total bans on abortion: El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. Argentina came close to decriminalising abortion last year for any pregnancy up to 14 weeks after a measure passed in the lower house of Congress. The Senate voted it down under heavy opposition from conservative groups.
Along with Mexico City, Cuba and Uruguay are the only places in the region where women can undergo abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy regardless of the circumstances.
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