The study aimed to identify the most frequent barriers in access to abortions in both clandestine and legal clinical contexts, from the perspective of accompanying persons, namely feminist activists who accompanied women that opted for voluntary abortions with medication. We performed 14 semi-structured interviews with accompanying persons in three regions of Mexico: Baja California and Chiapas, both of which are restrictive contexts, and Mexico City, where elective abortion is legal up to 12 weeks' gestational age. We identified four categories in which the social vulnerabilities of women who elect to undergo abortion intersect, namely lack of information, persistence of stigma, influence of the legal framework, and flaws in abortion care, including in clinics for legal termination of pregnancy (in Mexico City), and poor quality of the services provided, with verbal abuse, conscientious objection, and healthcare provider complaints, and finally the antichoice groups and their strategies. In the three regions, access to abortion clinics is still a privilege reserved for women with the necessary economic, logistic, and socials resources for the procedure in these settings. The existence of a program for legal termination of pregnancy (Interrupción Legal de Embarazo) in only one entity reveals the existence of a legal and health inequality. The study's findings on accompanying persons for women undergoing abortions provide backing for the Mexican government to improve access to safe abortions for all women, especially now that the country's Supreme Court has decreed the procedure's decriminalization and its imminent nationwide legalization.
|Translated title of the contribution||"The system is still precarious". Barriers in access to medical abortion: the experience of accompanying persons in three regions of Mexico|
|Journal||Cadernos de Saude Publica|
|State||Published - 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health