Journal Article

Patient characteristics and service trends following abortion legalization in Mexico City, 2007-10

Legal abortion services have been available in public and private health facilities in Mexico City since April 2007 for pregnancies of up to 12 weeks gestation. As of January 2011, more than 50,000 procedures have been performed by Ministry of Health hospitals and clinics. We researched trends in service users’ characteristics, types of procedures performed, post-procedure complications, repeat abortions, and postabortion uptake of contraception in 15 designated hospitals from April 2007 to March 2010. The trend in procedures has been toward more medication and manual vacuum aspiration abortions and fewer done through dilation and curettage. Percentages of post-procedure complications and repeat abortions remain low (2.3 and 0.9 percent, respectively). Uptake of postabortion contraception has increased over time; 85 percent of women selected a method in 200910, compared with 73 percent in 2007-08. Our findings indicate that the Ministry of Health’s program provides safe services that contribute to the prevention of repeat unintended pregnancies.