MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Women charged police lines and threw Molotov cocktails at officers in Mexico City on Monday during protests demanding the legalization of abortion in the majority Roman Catholic country.
The protesters, clad in the green bandanas that have become the symbol of the pro-choice movement in Latin America, gathered in Mexico’s capital to mark International Safe Abortion Day, which is celebrated each year on Sept. 28.
Police, many of them female officers, responded by spraying plumes of tear gas at the women, some of whom wielded hammers, and threw bottles and paint.
At least one officer was briefly engulfed in flames after being hit by a Molotov cocktail, before colleagues doused the fire with an extinguisher, television images showed.
Abortion is illegal in Mexico outside the capital city and the southern state of Oaxaca, which legalized the medical procedure last year. In the rest of Mexico, abortion is banned except under certain circumstances, such as rape.
Abortion law has been receiving renewed attention after the death in the United States of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneering women’s rights advocate, which has cast doubt over the future of legal abortion there.
Reporting by Carlos Jasso in Mexico City; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Matthew Lewis