As the United States grapples with new restrictions on abortion rights , it has opened the first legal abortion clinic on Mexico's northern border with the slogan “children by choice and not by chance” for women of any nationality.
The Marie Stopes México foundation installed the first specialized clinic for the legal interruption of pregnancy in Tijuana , just 10 kilometers (about 6 miles) from the San Ysidro border port, which leads to California.
This is the ninth clinic that they have installed in Mexican territory and comes after the reform that in October 2021 made Baja California the first and only Mexican state on the border with the United States to decriminalize abortion .
The medical director of the Marie Stopes Mexico Foundation, Alfonso Gerardo Carrera Riva Palacio, states this Saturday that the organization seeks to “support women so that they can exercise their rights.”
The clinic reflects the progress of this reproductive right in Mexico, where now nine states allow the interruption of pregnancy up to 12 weeks of gestation for any reason : Mexico City, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Hidalgo, Baja California and Colima, Sinaloa (until the week 13), Guerrero and Baja California Sur.
“In addition to being attached to what the Supreme Court of Justice stated that all women should have access (to the interruption of pregnancy) and should not be penalized in the country,” says Carrera Riva Palacio about the ruling that last September declared the total ban on abortion unconstitutional.
Aligned to WHO protocols
The doctor affirmed that the abortion processes that they implement are aligned with the protocols of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the Mexican guideline issued in June of last year by the National Center for Gender Equity.
“This means that there is a guideline and a clinical guide to be able to offer it safely and legally,” he stressed.
The expert asserted that this process “is very safe”, since the failure rate is less than 3%, which guarantees that the health status of the person who undergoes it is recovered , since the process takes from a few hours to a couple of days.
First, one tablet of a drug is taken first, and 36 hours later the second is taken to inhibit the process of advancing pregnancy.
right to decide
From the first days the clinic opened in early July, women came for appointments and abortions.
Carrera Riva Palacio said that the profile of the patients are women, in general, over 26 years of age, and that “80% of them have children, are heads of households and are Catholics.”
At the clinic they cite that one in three pregnancies is unwanted and even forced in Mexico, where access to abortion for rape is legal in all states with flexible terms.
However, in the current regulatory framework it is stipulated that for voluntary abortion the term is only up to 12 weeks of gestation, to which the clinic is adhering.
They offer services to all
The specialist explained that the response in Tijuana has been good because women who consider that they are not at an ideal time to have children can interrupt their pregnancy safely and legally.
In addition, given the ruling of the US Supreme Court that in June eliminated the constitutional right to abortion, she hopes that women from the United States, Mexico and other countries who are immigrating to this border can also attend.
The specialist asked to respect autonomy so that each of the women makes their own decisions.
“The stigma around abortion has existed and will continue to exist because there are people who want to control women's decisions,” she lamented.
“We have a vision of 'children by choice and not by chance' and our mission is that in Mexico every birth is desired, then we will be at a level of development as it should be, always to give to women,” he concluded.