American Public Health Association
137th Annual Meeting & Exposition
7–11 November 2009
Experiences of women accessing legal abortion in Mexico City (Abstract no. 201403)
Marieke G. van Dijk, Patricio Sanhueza Smith, Antonio Flores Villalón, Lorena Chavez, and Sandra Garcia
In April 2007, abortion in the first 12 weeks of gestation was legalized in Mexico City. Over 19,000 women from Mexico City and other states have been treated since. The procedure is offered in one public health clinic and 12 public hospitals of the Ministry of Health (MOH). Furthermore, there are several private clinics that offer abortion services. We are finalizing a qualitative study of the experiences of women who had legal abortions in Mexico City.
We are conducting 25 in-depth interviews with women who had an abortion on their experiences in a public clinic and two private clinics. We started the field work in September 2008 and will finish the interviews by the end of February 2009. The data will be transcribed, coded, and analyzed using the software Atlas-ti.
Our preliminary findings are based on 15 interviews in the public health center. Participants expressed high satisfaction on the abortion services offered. The women knew about the services through the Internet, a governmental telephone line, or friends. None had doubts about her decision to do an abortion, and the counseling provided was perceived as adequate. Participants felt treated with respect and taken into account, even if the choice for the abortion procedure (surgical or medical abortion) was made by the physician. Most accepted contraceptive methods postabortion.
Women's experiences with the legal abortion services in the public health center were very positive. They recommended opening more, similar health centers providing legal abortion services.
(1) Describe the main aspects of the new abortion law in Mexico City; (2) Describe the experiences of women having had legal abortions in a public health center in Mexico City; (3) List the main recommendations regarding access and quality of the services provided.
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