Women's Experiences with Legal Abortion in Mexico City
Council researchers conducted in-depth interviews with women who accessed legal abortion in Mexico City clinics.
In April 2007, elective first-trimester abortions were legalized in Mexico City. The procedure is free of charge to Mexico City residents, and at the time of this study, the procedure was offered in 12 public hospitals and one clinic of the Ministry of Health (MOH). To acquire a more systematic idea of the quality of and access to abortion services from the woman’s point of view, the Population Council conducted in-depth interviews with a sample of 25 women who accessed a legal abortion in the MOH clinic and two private clinics in Mexico City.
Council researchers found, in general, that at the time of pregnancy most women were using condoms or no contraception. Reasons for seeking an abortion included financial insecurity, unstable relationships with partners, study or work plans, and concern about congenital malformations. Nearly all women said the decision to have an abortion was theirs alone, and they had strong support from partners. Nearly all women had heard about the law in the news, and located the facilities via the Internet, Locatel (a free telephone line that provides information about government services), friends, or through referrals from other clinicians.
Women’s overall impressions of both the public and private clinics were very positive. They reported receiving adequate counseling and being treated with respect. Although women expressed preferences for either medical or surgical abortion methods, they generally had confidence in their clinicians' judgment and accepted their recommendations about the method to use. Most women opted for a postabortion contraceptive method, typically an intrauterine device (IUD). Women also expressed a desire for additional health centers that provide legal abortion services.
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Location: Mexico (Mexico City)
Safe abortion and postabortion care
Duration: 9/2008 - 3/2009
Lorena Chavez (consultant)
Stephanie McMurtrie (consultant)