Women Flee To Mexico In Search Of Abortions

Images of frightened Mexican women attempting to cross the U.S. border by navigating the Rio Grande or under barbed wire barriers were once familiar.

However, with the overturn of Roe vs. Wade, which implemented a nearly complete abortion ban in 13 U.S. states, American women have been seeking reproductive care in Mexico.

Mexican abortion advocate Vanesa Jimenez Rubalcav expressed her astonishment at this shift. She said to The Telegraph, “The U.S. was always the benchmark for abortion rights.”

A landmark decision in September by Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized abortion nationwide, safeguarding any woman opting for the procedure in Mexico.

“Before Roe vs Wade was overturned, I’d be in touch with maybe one or two U.S. women annually,” shares Ms. Rubalcav. “Currently, that number has risen to around 20 every week.”

In regions like Nueva Leon, Monterrey, where abortion is permissible only under specific conditions like rape, incest, or maternal life risk, Ms. Rubalcav mentions alternative methods to assist women in obtaining necessary medications.

Activist networks in Mexico, for years, have been pivotal in aiding women to get access to abortion-inducing medications. With the evolving abortion regulations in the U.S., these networks now extend their support to American women.

The assistance process involves mailing the necessary drugs to women who connect through social media.

For abortion, two drugs are prevalent: Mifepristone, which hinders the hormone vital for sustaining pregnancy, and Misoprostol, mainly for ulcer treatments. Mifepristone requires a prescription in Mexico, while Misoprostol is available over the counter. Ideally, both are consumed in tandem, though Misoprostol is also effective independently.

Ms. Rubalcav emphasizes their unwavering support: “From start to finish, we’re there for them. American women are our neighbors. We’re merely sharing our knowledge and methods, ensuring they know there’s another way.”

Luisa Garcia, Profem’s director, which operates abortion clinics in multiple Mexican cities, observed an increased influx of American women. One such American woman was notably flustered due to her lack of Spanish proficiency and payment issues.

Furthermore, Veronica Cruz, founder of Las Libres, a network championing abortion rights, has supported Mexican women in procuring abortion pills for over two decades.

“We’ve been facilitating safe home-based abortions in Mexico without direct medical oversight for 23 years,” Cruz states.

Most U.S. inquiries come from Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Cruz recalls when feminist networks in Latin America looked up to the U.S. for abortion practices, wishing for a Roe v. Wade counterpart.

However, sentiments have evolved.

“Today, we’re grateful for not emulating the U.S.,” she reflects. “We’re proud that in Mexico, abortion is recognized as a collective right, not just an individual one. We’re grateful that our society rallied for this.”