Support Networks ‘Invaluable’ for Mexican Women Seeking Illegal Abortions

Support Networks ‘Invaluable’ for Mexican Women Seeking Illegal Abortions
In Mexico, where most states ban abortion completely, women seeking that procedure find support networks on their own.

Marissa Revilla Senior Reporter
May 1, 2019

A note about this series: Global Press Journal reporters around the world examined their communities’ approaches to reproductive health, including values and priorities and how international policies impact them. Read the other stories in this month-long series here.

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, MEXICO — Already a mother and just a few weeks pregnant again, Cinthia N., 26, was certain she wanted to get an abortion. She was in a relationship with a violent man, she says, and didn’t want to bring another child into that situation.

But abortion is largely illegal in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state. Involvement in an abortion, whether as the pregnant woman or as someone assisting, can lead to jail time.


Why Mexico Is Proof Anti-Abortion Laws Don’t Work

Why Mexico Is Proof Anti-Abortion Laws Don't Work
Araceli Lopez Nava Vázquez, Country director for Marie Stopes Mexico

Leticia had been bleeding heavily for two weeks when she arrived at Marie Stopes Mexico's clinic in Chiapas. Desperate to end her pregnancy, she had taken some pills from a friend. However as the days passed it became clear that something had gone badly wrong.

Despite excruciating pain and massive blood loss, she ignored her friend's pleas to seek medical help for fear of being thrown behind bars for procuring an illegal abortion. Until finally, weak from anaemia and wracked with pain, she struggled to our clinic, where my team diagnosed a septic abortion and referred her to the public hospital. Any further delay in treatment and she would have died.

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