Women across Latin America march for abortion rights

Thousands of women took to the streets in cities across Latin America on Tuesday to mark the global day of action for access to safe abortion.

In Colombia, where abortion is allowed only in cases of rape, birth defects and risks to the health of the mother, some 800 women marched calling for greater access.

Maria Diez was in the crowd:

"Women are reminding states and societies that we're full citizens, not second-class, and that we have the right to abort, to voluntarily interrupt pregnancy, to decide about our bodies, about our lives, and about our maternity wards."

Women in Chile also demonstrated on Tuesday, the same day as the country's lower house agreed to debate a bill to decriminalize abortion for up to 14 weeks after pregnancy.

Abortion is only fully permitted in a handful of countries in the region.

Earlier this month Mexico declared it unconstitutional to criminalize abortion, and that those jailed on accusations of having terminated their pregnancy would be released.

Unsafe abortions have caused thousands of women to die every year in Latin America.

Teenage pregnancies and sexual violence also continue to increase in the region.

Many have been put behind bars for terminating their pregnancy too.

In El Salvador some women have been sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

Women in that country also joined the march, waving banners and chanting "it's our right to decide."

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