Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Safe Abortion Day sees violent clashes in Mexico

Once again the abortion battle is set to rage across the Americas.

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Pro-choice women marchers hurled Molotov cocktails at mostly female police officers with shields who blocked their way through the city.

International Safe Abortion Day on Sept 28 was marked in Mexico City by hundreds of women marching through the city centre and clashing with police.

The demonstrators, wearing the green bandanas that signify the pro-choice movement in Latin America, tried to grab riot shields from police officers, several of whom were injured.

Mexico is a Catholic country and abortion is illegal except in the capital, which legalised it last year. In most of the rest of the country it is banned except in exceptional circumstances, like rape.

Ironically, the pro-choice demonstration occurred in the very place where abortion is already legal.

Conservative groups set up their own pro-life protest encampment in the city’s main plaza and police officers, both male and female, fired tear gas at the pro-choice protesters to prevent the two groups meeting.

While abortion is no longer an issue in Europe and many other parts of the world, in the Americas it still provokes intense emotions.

In the US, the issue is very divisive with conservative Christians being almost 100% pro-life while liberal coastal cities are pro-choice.

The recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a staunch women’s rights advocate, and President Donald Trump’s rapid nomination of conservative Catholic Amy Coney Barrett to replace her on the powerful bench portends renewed fighting over the future of legal abortion in the US.

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