Pro-choice activists in Mexico took to the streets of the country’s major cities on Saturday to demand the legalization of abortions. The groups wore green bandanas as a symbol of Latin America’s abortion rights movement.
The protest was held on the International Safe Abortion Day, as reported by world news outlet Reuters. It follows the state of Oaxaca, Mexico’s approval of a bill that decriminalized abortions. Oaxaca is only the second area in the country to make the procedure accessible after Mexico City.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the country’s president, moved to send a bill to the governments federal Congress. The bill’s approval will grant amnesty to women jailed over abortions. Abortion is currently considered a crime in all states of Mexico apart for Oaxaca and its capital.
Mexico’s state Congress consists of a majority of Obradors leftist National Regeneration Movement. However, lawmakers hailing from different parties have expressed support for the president’s bill.
The country is predominantly a conservative country with its citizens mostly of Roman Catholic faith. Abortion in Mexico’s capital has been decriminalized since 2007.
Senator Patricia Mercado of the Citizen’s Movement party has expressed support for the demonstrations writing in a statement:
“When a woman decides to have an abortion, she makes an intimate and profound decision, the reasons are very much hers.”
Protests came by the hundreds in the streets of Mexico City. They were reportedly waving banners and using green smoke. Across the country, protests were held in the states of Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Oaxaca, and Veracruz.