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The Green Wave in Latin America

In recent years, in Latin American countries, the Green Wave (Green Wave or Green Tide, in Spanish Marea Verde) has taken place – a movement for the right to abortion in both Americas. In Argentina alone, hundreds of thousands of girls and women gathered in protests to urge Argentine lawmakers to decriminalise abortion and ensure safe access to it. These women came from various movements and organisations, including Amnesty International Argentina.

The movement that led to liberalising abortion laws in Latin America has its roots in Argentina. The local Green Wave can serve as a model for feminist movements worldwide. In December 2020, Argentina decriminalised and legalised abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy. Mexico followed, declaring the criminalization of abortion unconstitutional a year later, although access to abortion still varies from state to state. In February 2022, Colombia legalised abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

In 2012, abortion, up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, was legalised in Uruguay. However, the Green Wave did not reach everywhere. In Honduras, Congress changed the country’s constitution to make it almost impossible to legalise abortion. The Dominican Republic has rejected a proposal to decriminalize abortion when the pregnancy is life-threatening or results from rape or incest. In El Salvador, women who have an abortion can face up to 40 years in prison, even after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

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