On International Safe Abortion Day, women across Latin America march demanding reproductive rights

Hundreds of thousands of women flooded the streets across Latin America, demanding decriminalization and legalization of abortion

October 01, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
On September 28, thousands of women mobilized in Chile demanding expansion of abortion rights. (Photo: Javiera Manzi/X)

On September 28, hundreds of thousands of women flooded 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 Abortion.

Abortion is strictly regulated in the Latin American and the Caribbean region. Of the 33 countries in the region, only Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Guyana, some states in Mexico, and Uruguay allow elective abortion. Some countries such Chile, Ecuador, and Venezuela allow abortion in circumstances such as rape or health risks. While in countries such as the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Suriname, abortion is completely banned and criminalized.

Feminists movements and women’s rights organizations have been struggling for decades to have access to reproductive rights, which is not only a health issue, but also a class issue in the region.

Official data from different countries indicate that thousands of women access unsafe and clandestine abortions and are generally from the most marginalized sectors of the society: poor women, peasant women, Indigenous women, Afro-descendant women, sex workers, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and queer people.


In Argentina, women and the LGBTQ+ community took to the streets in defense of their right to abortion, achieved in 2020 after over 20 years of organized movement. They fear a potential setback in the case of the victory of far-right libertarian Javier Milei in the October presidential elections.


In Brazil, feminists marched through the main cities to demand the integral human right. Currently, the country’s Supreme Court is debating the decriminalization of abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.


In Chile, women mobilized in defense of the existing law on termination of pregnancy, which is at the risk of being overturned if the current constitutional draft, promoted by the Republican Party, is approved in the December referendum. They also demanded expansion of abortion rights.


In Mexico, women and non-binary people hit the streets to celebrate the recent decision by the Supreme Court to decriminalize abortions at the national level.

Mobilization in the Zocalo in Mexico City


In Peru, women rallied in different cities demanding decriminalization of abortion, access to safe abortion and the right to decide on abortion.