IN PHOTOS: This is how green became the color of abortion rights – National |

From the streets of Poland to the crowds in Argentina, Mexico, and most recently the United States following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion rights protests have one thing in common: the color green.

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Green flags, snapping in the air. Green scarves, green scarves, green shirts.

Green smoke, billowing in clouds through packed crowds as women and men fight for the right to make decisions about what is best for their bodies, families and futures.

But why the color green?

People protest abortion, Friday, June 24, 2022, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Abortion rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Saturday, June 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a protest following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, in Washington Square Park, on Friday, June 24, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura

An abortion rights protester places a handkerchief following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the federally protected right to abortion, in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

The most recent demonstrations decked out in the color green are taking place in the United States in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 court case that established the constitutional right to abortion in that country.

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It was during the protests in Latin America, not the United States, that a hallmark of the struggle for abortion rights was born, and where it has continued to gain momentous political strength in recent years.

According to both the Washington Post and the French newspaper LeMonde, the origin dates back to the demonstrations of the late 1970s in Argentina, when relatives of people disappeared under the country’s military dictatorship wore white scarves during protests in front of the presidential palace.

Two decades later, the push for abortion rights in that country was growing, and Marta Alanis, founder of the abortion rights group Catholics for the Right to Decide, had an idea.

In an interview with le mondehe said he wanted to wear bandanas to a 2003 abortion rights protest to pay tribute to the families of people disappeared by the junta, but he didn’t want to wear the color white that had defined those earlier efforts.

She and other organizers decided to use green instead, “a symbol of hope, health, life,” Alanis said in an interview with Le Monde in May 2022.

The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

An abortion rights activist reacts after lawmakers approved a bill legalizing abortion, outside Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Abortion rights activists gather outside Congress as lawmakers debate a bill that would legalize abortion, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

Pro-choice activists for the decriminalization of abortion hold up green handkerchiefs as they march in front of Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tomas F. Cuesta)

AP Photo/Tomas F. Cuesta

Green scarves quickly took off, becoming a familiar and frequent sight at abortion rights protests in Argentina in 2015 and 2018, as well as throughout Latin America, where the political movement for gender equality and access to abortion has been advancing for the last decade.

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It’s all part of a movement known as “Green Tide” — the Green Wave.

Years of efforts by organizers in Argentina culminated in a major victory in December 2020, when the country legalized abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy after years of protests.

Argentines flooded the streets, dressed in green and celebrating the decision.

Green scarves and bandanas have in recent years become “a symbol of resistance,” according to Human Rights Watch, as abortion rights advocates continue to push for greater access to health care in Latin America.

Several Mexican states have decriminalized abortion since 2007, and in September 2021, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice ruled that it was unconstitutional for states to punish women for having abortions.

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That ruling is expected to have a ripple effect across the country, as lower courts will be forced in the coming years to pass sentences in line with that.

The Green Wave also scored a big win earlier this year. when Colombia in February decriminalized abortion until week 24, and Chile will vote in September 2022 on a new constitutional draft that, if approved, would enshrine the right to abortion, Reuters reported earlier this year.

Abortion rights protesters march during a Global Day of Action for access to legal, safe and free abortion, in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

AP Photo/Esteban Felix

FILE – In this Sept. 28, 2021, file photo, abortion rights protesters paint a mural that reads in Spanish, “Legal Abortion, Free and Safe,” during a Global Day of Action for access to legal abortion, safe and free, in Santiago. , Chili. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File).

AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File

Pro-abortion feminist movements demonstrate outside the Constitutional Court, in the Palace of Justice in support of the decriminalization of abortion in Colombia, in Bogotá, Colombia, on February 9, 2022. LA PRENSA ASOCIADA.

The Associated Press

In countries like Poland, which implemented a near-total ban on abortion last year, green is now a frequent sight at demonstrations and strikes opposing that decision.

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That country, along with Malta, now has the most restrictive abortion bans in the European Union, According to Amnesty International, who has warned that the chilling effect of the ban in Poland is causing doctors to refuse to perform abortions even in the rare cases where the law allows it.

People march near the front of the Constitutional Court headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, January 27, 2021, to protest after the country’s highest court on Wednesday upheld its highly divisive ruling that will further tighten the strict law against abortion of the predominantly Catholic nation. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

People attend a rally organized by the Polish Women’s Strike in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

Tensions in the US are growing fraught in the run-up to midterm elections, where abortion rights are expected to play a central role, and further protests are all but guaranteed as states emboldened by the fall deRoe v. Wade continue to crack. down on access to abortion.

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While the outcome is uncertain, at least one thing seems clear: Green is now firmly entrenched as the color of abortion rights, and with more protests on the horizon, expect to see plenty more.

An abortion rights advocate wears a green scarf outside the US embassy to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade on behalf of the US Supreme Court, which struck down women’s constitutional protections for abortion in the US, in Mexico City, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano ).

(AP Photo/Fernando Llano

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