Using Research and Related Evaluation and Dissemination Activities to Strengthen the Mexican '"Building a Pro-Choice Alliance" Consortium
Working with the "Building a Pro-Choice Alliance" Consortium in Mexico, the Council is identifying emblematic cases of abortion service denial, promoting the use of health indicators for legal abortion when pregnancy represents a risk, and building strategies to improve access to medical abortion.
The past three years have been marked by victories and challenges for the five organizations that belong to the innovative "Building a Pro-Choice Alliance" consortium in Mexico whose goal is to promote women's sexual and reproductive rights in Mexico, including abortion. Following passage of the watershed Mexico City law that legalized elective first-trimester abortion in April 2007, the Alliance worked closely with the Mexico City Ministry of Health (MOH) to support the establishment of the country’s first legal abortion program, which has served over 40,000 women and is considered the model for the region. The overwhelmingly favorable national Supreme Court decision in August 2008 to uphold the constitutionality of the Mexico City abortion law was another success for women’s rights. During 2009, however, a powerful conservative backlash has emerged that aims to prohibit legal abortion altogether in several states. Therefore, the Alliance has reoriented its strategies to respond effectively to new threats in these states.
The Population Council’s Mexico office has continued to support the Alliance's shared goals and objectives with rigorous and policy-relevant research. From 2007 to 2009, the Alliance devised four strategic action programs, with Council research leading the agenda, that included: identifying emblematic cases of service denial under the health indication for strategic litigation; promoting and implementing the health indication for legal abortion when pregnancy represents a risk to a woman's physical or mental health; promoting reforms at the federal level; and developing a strategy to improve access to medical abortion as a safe technology. The latest abortion public opinion survey in Mexico City showed a significant increase in favorable opinion about the law—from 38 percent pre-reform (April 2007) to 73 percent two years post-reform (May 2009). Furthermore, a recently completed Council public opinion study in the first eight states that passed conservative reforms found not only low public knowledge about these changes, but also a majority supportive of legal abortion, in at least some circumstances, including the 12-week limit included in the Mexico City law.
The Council has continued to support the Mexico City MOH in streamlining and improving its data system and research capacity. For example, working with the MOH the Council has developed and implemented an electronic data system in its primary-level clinic and conducted targeted dissemination activities from the recently published national abortion incidence study.
As 2009 marked the final year of the Alliance’s three-year grant, the Alliance recently submitted a proposal for a complementary two-year award. Despite the latest challenges, the Alliance remains committed and hopeful as it enters the new decade. The Council continues to play the lead role in developing and implementing the Alliance’s diverse research portfolio.
Clients' perceptions of the quality of care in Mexico City's public sector legal abortion program (abstract) (HTML)
Becker,Davida; Diaz-Olavarrieta,Claudia; Juarez,Clara; Garcia,Sandra G.; Sanhueza,Patricio; Harper,Cynthia C.
International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 37(4): 191-201
Publication date: 2011
Duration: 1/2007 - 12/2009
Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir
Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía Trabajo y Familia
Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE)