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Overturning Roe v. Wade could have an effect on global abortion access

Colombia legalized abortion up to 24 weeks, the most recent country to do so as part of the 'green wave' movement in Latin America.
Colombia legalized abortion up to 24 weeks, the most recent country to do so as part of the 'green wave' movement in Latin America.

As abortion gets harder and harder to access in the U.S., Latin America is moving in the opposite direction. In December 2020, Argentina legalized abortion up to 14 weeks and became the largest nation south of the U.S. to do so. Mexico and Colombia’s courts did the same shortly after. The feminist movement responsible in part for this change is known as “the green wave” and has gained traction in a region where the Catholic Church has significant influence over politics and social beliefs.Now, activists have their sights set on Chile and Brazil.

However, the latest news of the leaked draft opinion on Roe v. Wade is concerning for Colombians. The U.S. Supreme Court’s potential decision could sway the South American country’s own courts which legalized abortion up to 24 weeks in February.

Mariana Ardila is the managing attorney at Women’s Link Worldwide and was one of the plaintiffs who fought to legalize abortion before Colombia’s constitutional court:

The Supreme Court of the United States is a reference for many judges and decision makers in Latin America and the Caribbean. We are trying to remind people that since Roe v. Wade was handed down, there has been tons of emblematic cases coming from courts that are also a reference for other countries that have more updated, innovative, and current arguments than the ones Roe used.

That’s not the only region reacting to abortion rights news in the U.S.

In Europe, 95 percent of women live in countries that allow abortion. But that wasn’t always the case. A new movie, “Happening,” is based on French author AnneErnaux’sreal experience getting an abortion in 1960s France. She published her memoir detailing that procedure in 2000.

It’s a serious topic. And writer and director Audrey Diwan knows that personally.

We speak Diwan and experts on Latin America about the lessons the U.S. can take away from these movements and what overturning Roe v. Wade could mean for global abortion rights.

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