Rallies on International Safe Abortion Day aimed to pressure lawmakers to ease punitive abortion laws, with protesters taking to the streets in countries including El Salvador, Chile and Mexico.
In El Salvador – where abortion is illegal, even when the pregnancy threatens the mother, and in cases of rape and incest – protesters made their way to Congress calling for safe and free legal abortion.
Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has rejected any reforms to abortion laws as part of controversial constitutional changes planned by his government.
But Morena Herrera, a prominent Salvador feminist, said such a move does not require constitutional reform, according to Reuters.
“We are demanding minimum measures to be added to the penal code to guarantee the life and integrity of women,” she said.
Chile lawmakers were one step closer to easing the country’s tough restrictions on Tuesday after the lower Chamber of Deputies approved plans to debate a bill that would expand abortion access, according to an official press release.
The bill proposes to decriminalize abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy – a big step for one of the region’s most conservative countries.
Chile’s strict abortion laws forbid abortion unless the pregnancy resulted from rape, if the fetus has a fatal congenital disability, or if a woman’s life is at risk.
The bill will now have to be debated by the legislature’s Women and Gender Equality Commission before it can receive final approval by the Chamber of Deputies and pass the country’s Senate to be voted into law.
Protesters and police officers clashed at an abortion rally in Mexico City on Tuesday, injuring 37 people, according to the city government.
The rally, which called for reproductive rights and was organized by feminist groups, began at two different points in the afternoon and went on to the capital’s main square. The city policemen guarded the dharna.
Mexican officials put up protective fencing around major buildings and monuments ahead of the march. The clash took place when some protesters vandalized some structures.
The injured included nine civilians, a public servant and 27 women members of the police force.
Credit : www.cnn.com