Conocimientos, actitudes y prácticas de los médicos mexicanos sobre el aborto: Resultados de una encuesta nacional [Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Mexican physicians concerning abortion: Results of a national survey]
Garcia,Sandra G.; Lara,Diana K.; Goldman,Lisa
Gaceta Médica de México 139(suppl 1): 91-102
Publication date: 2003
In 2002, we surveyed Mexican physicians to learn about their abortion-related knowledge, opinions, and practices. We sampled 1,206 physicians working at randomly chosen medical institutions drawn from a national census of urban health facilities in Mexico. Respondents privately answered an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire and sealed it in an envelope for later collection. The majority of respondents were male (70%), general practitioners (53%), and identified themselves as Roman Catholic (86%). A large majority (84%) correctly knew that Mexican laws sometimes allow abortion, while 16% incorrectly believed that abortion was always illegal. Most respondents felt abortion should be legal when pregnancy results from rape (86%), when it places a woman's life (93%) or health in danger (87%), and when a fetus has serious congenital defects (82%). While 84% of physicians felt that all public medical facilities in Mexico should offer legal abortions, only 11% had ever performed one themselves. Respondents wanted more information about legal (81%) and ethical (65%) aspects of abortion, as well as information concerning approved medical abortion regimens (56%). This is the first abortion survey conducted among a national sample of Mexican physicians. Our findings provide valid information on these physicians' views on abortion and may, in turn, provide information for Mexico's ongoing abortion debate.