Venezuelan activists and organizations demand abortion decriminalization and legalization

Caracas, Sept. 28 (EFE) – Nearly a hundred people, including activists and NGOs, participated on Thursday in a “green rally” in front of the headquarters of the National Assembly in Caracas to demand the decriminalization and legalization of abortion.

The color green, which identifies this struggle, prevailed in the demonstration called for the International Safe Abortion Day, celebrated on September 28.

The majority of the participants, primarily women, chanted slogans and held signs with messages demanding “legal, safe, and free abortion.”

“Neither imprisoned for having an abortion nor killed for trying,” “Being a mother is a choice, not an imposition,” and “Religion out of our ovaries” read some of the protesters’ placards.

“It’s a necessity. It’s part of our human rights,” psychologist Bolívar Pérez, a member of an organization that works with survivors of gender violence, told EFE.

Pérez explained that in Venezuela, “abortion is illegal, even in cases of sexual abuse.

She assured that although women from “all social classes have abortions,” those “most at risk of losing their lives are poor women,” which is why she expressed that it should be “legal, safe and free.”

Activist and lawyer Richelle Briceño told EFE that the Caribbean criminalizes women for abortions.

She also said that “the fact that there is a criminalization of abortion does not mean that it is not done clandestinely,” which “puts women’s lives at risk.”

“Venezuela has the youngest pregnancy rate in South America, which is nothing more than the product of a state that has forgotten its sexual and reproductive education obligations,” she added.

Venezuela has about 95 pregnancies per thousand teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19, well above the regional average.

The feminist group has proposed a law removing four articles from the Penal Code that impose prison sentences on women who procure abortions.

In January, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh), Volker Türk, urged the Venezuelan government to review the regulations that criminalize abortion and cause the death of women. EFE


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