217780 Responding to the conservative backlash to women's sexual and reproductive rights, including abortion, throughout Mexico at the state level through strategic and collaborative research and advocacy

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Aimee Leidich, MPH , Global Health; Reproductive Health and Population Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Roula AbiSamra, MPH , Global Health; Reproductive Health and Population Studies, Emory University, Atlanta
Maria Presley, MDiv , School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Ruth Dawson, MPH/ JD , School of Law, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
In 2007, to address maternal mortality and morbidity due to unsafe abortions, the Mexico City Federal District (D.F.) legislature amended the district's penal code to decriminalize abortion in the first trimester. In response to this legislation, seventeen of Mexico's 32 states have amended their state constitutions to redefine human life as beginning with conception thus actively criminalizing abortion. These new restrictions signify a dangerous backlash that affects the 45 million women who live outside the city limits by enacting an aggressive anti-choice strategy against safe abortion, certain methods of contraception, and more broadly women's human rights. To address this backlash, a multidisciplinary Emory student research team will be researching Mexican public opinion and policy with the National Pro-Choice Alliance members, Population Council, Católicas para el Derecho de Decidir (Catholics for Choice, CDD), Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (Reproductive Choice Information Group, GIRE), and Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (National Institute for Public Health, INSP) in D.F. during summer 2010.

This project will culminate in a pro-choice advocacy framework that addresses recent anti-abortion backlash across Mexico. A coordinated effort from specialists in law, ethics, media, and research executed by an interdisciplinary team of four Emory students from the schools of public health, law, and theology will work in collaboration with Population Council, GIRE, and CDD, respectively. The public health scholars will contribute to the final advocacy framework through qualitative public opinion surveys, the law scholar through media discourse research and the theology scholar through scripture and ethics research.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify abortion access barriers and abortion related stigma in Mexico Compare public abortion opinion from before legalisation of elective first trimester abortions to post-legislation. Compare public abortion opinion from before restrictive abortion legislation to post-restrictive legislation in states that enacted recent abortion related amendments Analyze abortion coverage in the Mexican media and the influence of this coverage on the public. Analyze Catholic scripture and theological text for pro-choice arguments that are in conjunction with Mexican public opinion. Design a Pro-Choice advocacy framework based on Mexican public opinion as researched above.

Keywords: Abortion, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I co-chair the Fund for the Global Elimination of Maternal Mortality as well as the Emory Reproductive Health Associatin and will be researching abortion rights in Mexico for my final MPH thesis.
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.