Women’s Abortion Seeking Behavior under Restrictive Abortion Laws in Mexico

Fátima Juárez, El Colegio de México
Jose Luis Palma, Investigación en Salud y Demografía (Insad)
Kate Reiss, Marie Stopes International (MSI)
Akinrinola Bankole, Guttmacher Institute

Unsafe abortion remains an important public health problem in Mexico. Mexico City is the sole area in the country where pregnancy terminations are legally permitted; almost all terminations occurring elsewhere in the country are practiced clandestinely. As the safety of illegal clandestine abortions cannot be assured, women risk their health and social standing by resorting to a highly stigmatized and often unsafe practice. Over the past 15 years, there is growing evidence of the use of misoprostol, which may have changed the practice of induced abortion. The aim of this paper is to present new data from three settings (the states of Queretaro, Tabasco and Mexico) where abortion is legally restricted. The objectives of the study are to identify the socio-demographic profile of women experiencing complications related to an induced abortion and to explore the key elements of the process of abortion seeking including the use or non-use of misoprostol.

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Presented in Session 38: The Persistence of Unsafe Abortion