202016 Barriers to legal abortion services in Mexico City: Women's perspectives

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:15 PM

Erika Troncoso, MA , Research area, Ipas Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Tia M. Palermo, PhD , Graduate Program in Public Health, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY
Olivia Ortiz, MA , Ipas, Mexico City, Mexico
BACKGROUND : In 2007, Mexico City legalized abortion. Between May 2007 and July 2008, over 10,953 legal abortions were provided in public health facilities in Mexico City, as compared to only 65 in the five years prior to legalization. However, despite this large increase in the number of legal procedures in the public sector, more research is needed on barriers women face on accessing legal services and the channels of information they use.

METHODS: We interview 20 women who have received legal abortions at 3 sites, including two private clinics and one public hospital. Interviews are in-depth and semi-structured and include questions on perceived barriers, quality of care, attitudes of health care providers, information given about the procedure, attitudes of close family and friends, and sources of information on legal abortion. We analyze interviews to uncover common themes using ATLAS.ti.

RESULTS: Channels of information for women differed depending on where they accessed services. In one private clinic, women reported using the internet, while in the other women relied on friends' recommendations. However, women reported difficulties accessing trustworthy information. In general, women reported respectful treatment from providers, but they had questions about the abortion procedures, indicating that they would like more information on topics such as the effects of misoprostol.

CONCLUSIONS: Almost two years after the legalization of abortion in Mexico City, women still lack dependable information about services. We will use these results to develop interventions that aim to increase access to and information on safe abortion services.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, participants will be able to name barriers to abortion services in a newly legal setting.

Keywords: Abortion, Barriers to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Research and Evaluation Associate for Ipas, and have various peer-reviewed publications in the reproductive health field.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.