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Waving green handkerchiefs and signs demanding "safe abortion," thousands of people across Latin American protested Wednesday in favor of legalizing the procedure, to mark International Safe Abortion Day.
Marches were held in Mexico, where the Supreme Court in September ruled that banning abortion was unconstitutional; as well as Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and El Salvador.
It is "important" for "each woman to... be able to decide if she wants or can be a mother or not," said Elizabeth Pauline Monsalve, a 23-year-old student who attended the Caracas protest.
Around her, 400 others chanted, "Safe and legal abortion now!" or waved signs that said "Deciding is not illegal," as they demanded a law codifying the procedure as a right in Venezuela.
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In Latin American, the pro-abortion access camp continues to gain ground, with countries including Argentina, Colombia, Cuba and Uruguay having legalized it.
In other nations, such as El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, abortion is banned completely. In Chile and Brazil, it is only permitted in cases of rape, risk to the mother or issues with the fetus.
In Santiago, about 100 protesters waved signs with messages such as "Motherhood will be desired or it won't be."
"I have two daughters and I want them to have the future ahead of them to decide," Gloria Fuentes, 55, told AFP. "I am here for the right of all to decide."
In Bolivia. protesters also called for expanded sexual health education.
In San Salvador, about 300 people demonstrated for "the right to abortion" in specific cases, including rape and health of the mother or fetus. El Salvador has banned the procedure, punishable by up to eight years in prison, since 1998.
Some prosecutors judges consider terminating a pregnancy, even miscarriages, to be "aggravated homicide," punishable by up to 50 years in jail.
East of the capital, in the town of Suchitoto, some protesters made a caravan of small trucks swathed in green banners to demonstrate on behalf of at least a dozen women imprisoned in El Salvador for a terminated pregnancy.
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