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How Green Became the International Color of Abortion Rights

Abortion rights demonstrators hold signs during a protest in New York on June 24.

Abortion rights demonstrators hold signs during a protest in New York on June 24.

Photographer: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg

As abortion-rights activists took to the streets to protest the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade on Friday, some wore green scarves, shirts and other pieces of clothing. Others held up signs with green lettering or background. 

The color became a symbol of resistance to anti-abortion laws during pro-abortion activist efforts in Argentina. Then it was taken up by organizers in other Latin American countries, and it has since spread around the world. The green bandana first appeared in 2015, worn by activists in the “ni una menos” or “not one less” movement who were protesting violence against women in Argentina, according to Amnesty International. Argentina legalized abortion in December 2020, and the symbol became known as the “marea verde,” or the “green wave.”