Journal Article

Experiences and opinions of health-care professionals regarding legal abortion in Mexico City: A qualitative study

This study examines the experiences and opinions of health-care professionals after the legalization of abortion in Mexico City in 2007. Sixty-four semistructured interviews were conducted between 1 December 2007 and 16 July 2008 with staff affiliated with abortion programs in 12 hospitals and 1 health center, including obstetricians/gynecologists, nurses, social workers, key decisionmakers at the Ministry of Health, and others. Findings suggest that program implementation was difficult because of the lack of personnel, space, and resources; a great number of conscientious objectors; and the enormous influx of women seeking services, which resulted in a work overload for participating professionals. The professionals interviewed indicate that the program improved significantly over time. They generally agree that legal abortion should be offered, despite serious concerns about repeat abortions. They recommend improving family planning campaigns and post-procedure contraceptive use, and they encourage the opening of primary health-care facilities dedicated to providing abortion services.