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LATIN AMERICA | 25-03-2021 15:06

Costa Rica deputy stages parliament sit-in to protest abortion bill

Costa Rican legislator from the conservative New Republic party has spent the last three days barefoot in the middle of the country's National Assembly hall to protest against a possible bill to legalise abortion.

A conservative legislator in Costa Rica has been camping in the middle of the National Assembly hall for three days to protest against a possible bill to legalise abortion.

Nidia Cespedes, from the conservative New Republic party, says she has spent the last three days sat barefoot in the middle of the hall in front of the podium, before then settling down there for the night.

"It's an aberration against the unborn," Cespedes told AFP by telephone on Wednesday.

"I cannot understand how several feminists want to authorise abortion."

She says she's going to continue her protest at least until the government listens to her.

The bill she opposes proposes allowing abortion up to 14 weeks.

"The unborn will represent us in the future. Right now they don't have a voice but this deputy is raising her voice for them," said Cespedes.

At the beginning of March, the Costa Rican movement for legal abortion launched an initiative to decriminalise abortion, which it hopes to present to parliament if it can collect the necessary 170,000 signatures.

Currently, abortion is only allowed in the country if the mother's life or health is at risk.

Throughout Latin America, women's rights organisations have been pushing for a change in the laws around abortion.

The region has some of the harshest abortion laws in the world.

In January, Argentina became only the fourth country in the region — after Cuba, Guyana and Uruguay — to authorise abortion up to 14 weeks.

– AFP

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