By Katy Watson, BBC South America correspondent
March 4, 2021
When Argentina's Congress voted to legalise abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy, Renata (not her real name) felt excited.
"How cool," the 20-year-old from
northern Brazil remembers thinking in late December. A student and supermarket
worker, Renata saw it as the start of something new in a region where abortion
is mostly illegal.
But she thought little more of it until a
week later, when she found out she was pregnant herself. Then, she says, her
February 28, 2021
Bogotá, Colombia – Abortion is a polarizing topic in Colombia, where it is against the law in most cases, but the legalization of the procedure in another South American nation has women’s rights activists here also hoping for a change.
In late December, Argentinian lawmakers voted 38 to 29 to make abortion legal until the 14th week of pregnancy. It was the first Latin American nation to fully legalize abortion, leading advocates to hope the decision will create a wave throughout the continent.
By Miriam Berger
September 26, 2020
Argentina’s president was expected to propose a landmark law to decriminalize abortion, setting a new standard for Latin America. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The release date was delayed, indefinitely.
Ruth Zurbriggen, a reproductive rights activist with the group Socorristas en Red, felt “pain and rage.” But the group’s work continued — efforts, she said, made even more pressing as the pandemic took center stage.
By Josefina Salomón & Christopher Alford
7 September 2020
For decades, women human rights defenders across Latin America have been fighting an uphill battle to ensure sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion, are a reality for all. Over the last five months that battle has turned into a war.
The figures have been shocking for a long time. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned them into a catastrophe, with a potential bleak future.
The Pandemic And Legal Abortion: What Happens When Access Is Limited?
June 8, 2020
Isabella Gomez Sarmiento
In April, Johanna Cruz terminated her pregnancy with drugs obtained through a telemedicine consultation.
Abortion is legal in Colombia. And Cruz, a street performer from Chile who was backpacking through the Colombian state of Antioquia, did not feel she was in a position to raise a child. She didn't have a steady income or stable housing. And with stay-at-home orders in place to control the spread of coronavirus, she found herself facing homelessness in the town of San Rafael and unable to travel to Medellin, the nearest city with an abortion clinic.
From Poland To Uruguay, What The Pandemic Means For Abortion
Michaela Kozminova, WORLDCRUNCH
Across the globe, swamped hospitals and shelter-in-place measures have impacted people's access to healthcare for any number of non-COVID-19 issues. One of them is abortion, a time sensitive procedure that is also — even the best of times — both emotionally and politically charged.
Now, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, some countries have used emergency decrees to change their policies related to pregnancy terminations. While several have extended access to abortions in an effort to ease pressure on women and guarantee their rights, others have seen the situation as an opportunity to make abortions more difficult to access.
Colombia drops FARC’s mass forced abortion claim after 5 years
by Adriaan Alsema
May 10, 2020
A former guerrilla associate was sentenced to 40 years in prison for carrying out forced abortions on former ELN and ERG guerrillas, according to the prosecution, which had blamed the FARC for years.
In a press release, a judge in the city of Pereira confirmed Hector Albeidis Arboleda carried out forced abortions for demobilized rebel group ERG and the active ELN guerrillas.
Pandemic further hinders safe abortion in Latin America
By Carlos Christian
April 9, 2020
Calls decreased, but text messages increased. They cannot speak because they hear them. They cannot say in front of their families that they seek help, that they need to abort. Las Comadres, a feminist network in Ecuador that provides information to women who want to terminate their pregnancies with drugs, has had to change its communication channels in recent weeks. Telephone calls are becoming increasingly difficult. Isolation, imposed as a mitigation measure by Covid-19, has limited the freedom of those seeking access to an abortion, but not the determination of those who are determined to do so.
Verónica Vera, one of the sixty Ecuadorians who responds to requests for accompaniment, now through platforms such as Telegram, says that in March requests for support increased by 25%. Women who want to abort will do so even in a health emergency, and the public health system in Latin America seems not ready to respond. “The difficulty of mobilizing due to the measures adopted by the pandemic, the collapsed medical services and the lack of privacy within prolonged confinements could lead to a setback in Latin America,” he warns.
Lockdown in Colombia will affect the right to abortion, says human rights lawyer
What happens when a woman has to terminate her pregnancy during lockdown?
Translation posted 3 April 2020
Although necessary for the health protection of citizens, measures taken by the Colombian government to contain the COVID-19 infection, including the national lockdown and closing the borders, may hinder the access of Colombian and Venezuelan women to services that are essential to their sexual and reproductive health.
“In times of pandemic, women will still require the services necessary for accessing safe abortions, emergency contraception, and protection from sexual violence and abuse,” Selene Soto, a lawyer from the Women’s Link Worldwide organization in Bogota, told Global Voices.
Colombia was close to legalizing abortion. Instead, a top court kept restrictions in place.
By Miriam Berger
March 3, 2020
Colombia’s constitutional court ruled Monday to keep the country’s abortion restrictions in place, dashing the hopes of activists pushing for a decision that could have made it the first and most populous state in Latin America to legalize abortions during the first 16 weeks of a pregnancy.
The decision “was a missed opportunity to stand on the right side of history to provide Colombian women and girls safe access to abortion,” human rights lawyer Paula Avila-Guillen said in a statement. She described the current law as “poorly regulated and rarely implemented,” such that for “women who have been victims of sexual abuse or face economic barriers, access to abortion is almost impossible, which puts their lives at risk.