American Public Health Association (APHA)
138th Annual Meeting and Exposition
6–10 November 2010
"Women's experiences accessing public-sector legal abortion services in Mexico City"
Davida E. Becker, Claudia Diaz, Clara Juarez, Sandra G. García, Patricio Sanhueza, and Cynthia C. Harper
In a historic vote on April 24, 2007, the Mexico City legislature decriminalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. To date, there has been limited research on clients' experiences with the abortion services now legally provided in the public sector. The purpose of our study was to learn from abortion clients in Mexico City about their experiences accessing abortion care, including their sources of information about services and whether they encountered barriers in accessing care. We also test whether sources of information or barriers to care vary by client characteristics such as age, marital status, state of residence, or education. Our data were collected through a survey with a consecutive sample of 402 women, aged 18 and over, who sought legal abortion care (either a surgical or medical procedure) at one of three public-sector sites in Mexico City: a general hospital, a maternity hospital, or a health center. The survey was interviewer-administered and anonymous. Women participated immediately following their appointment or the day of their follow-up visit. Women's key sources of information on abortion services were the Internet and through doctor referrals. In terms of barriers, we found 20% of women reported difficulty finding a site offering abortion services, 19% reported partner or other family member opposition to their abortion, and 25% reported difficulty getting time off from work for their appointments. Client characteristics were also associated with both information sources and barriers to care. These results provide insights into strategies to improve abortion service accessibility.
- Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
- Implement health education strategies, interventions, and programs
- Provide health care to the public
- Describe five barriers clients face when accessing abortion care in Mexico City
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