More Americans who want abortions are turning to Mexico for help


More Americans who want abortions are turning to Mexico for help: Verónica Cruz claims she has been receiving panicked calls from American ladies.

She claims that because of fear, abortion facilities have canceled their appointments.

“They lost service as soon as the Supreme Court’s ruling was made public. Many of them call us in tears and in great need “Cruz stated in a recent interview with CNN. The majority don’t even speak Spanish, she continued.

Cruz founded Las Libres, which translates to “The Free Ones” in Spanish, and has devoted years of her life to promoting abortion rights both nationally and in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Now that more American women are coming to Mexico for assistance, her organization is assisting in leading the charge in a brand-new conflict.

Mexican proponents of abortion rights have looked to the US as a model for what is feasible for many years. Many of them were shocked by the most recent US Supreme Court ruling, but they were also resolved to stand together and take action.

There has been a significant role reversal over the past year. The Supreme Court of Mexico decriminalized abortion in September 2021. And in June 2022, the US Supreme Court repealed Roe v. Wade, the important judgment from 1973 that ensured everyone in the nation had access to legal abortion.

Cruz remarks, “It astonished me that Mexico is moving forward and the United States is regressing.” I had never considered that.

Cruz claims that she and other pro-choice activists in Mexico have been closely following the passage of restrictive abortion laws in an increasing number of US states. And when the US Supreme Court ruling was released, she claims, they were prepared to assist.

“Red Necesito Abortar,” which translates to “I Need to Abort Network,” is run out of Sandra Cardona’s house in Monterrey, Mexico. Sandra says the organization “weaves a lovely web so that women can have alternative options.”

For years, the Mexican organizations have mostly concentrated their efforts on assisting Mexican women in getting tablets for medication for abortions and guiding them through the procedure. And as of late, they claim to have noticed a noticeable spike in American requests for that assistance.

According to Cruz, a sign of how acute the need is is the increase in calls from people who are speaking English.

Crystal P. Lira, the founder of Bloodys Red Tijuana, another organization that offers medication abortion, asserts that “the numbers are going to keep climbing.” “Snowball effect,” they say.

She traveled to the US for abortion 10 years ago. Now she’s helping Americans get the same medicine

Lira recalls how isolated she felt ten years ago when she crossed the US-Mexico border to go to a Planned Parenthood facility.

The pills were tougher to find back then in Mexico, and there was a lot of shame around abortion, so she had to go from her home in Tijuana to San Diego to get them.

According to her, “I went feeling extremely alone, like I couldn’t tell anyone else, and not knowing who was going to support me.” “I went there with a tonne of questions. It was a terribly perplexing and lonesome time.”

Lira never thought that one day she would be assisting US women in obtaining the same drug while doing all in her power to increase access to abortions on both sides of the border and combat the stigma she experienced firsthand.

Mifepristone and misoprostol, the two medications required for a medical abortion, are becoming more affordable and accessible in Mexico. Since the US Supreme Court decision, activist networks in Mexico have stepped up their efforts to ship the drugs to the US.

The organizations are also offering women remote accompaniment, or virtual support, to assist them in navigating the procedure. It’s crucial to keep in mind, says Lira, that many American women lack the financial means or the freedom to travel to Mexico.

She explains, “We’re working to make sure the medicine gets to them.

The organizations that talked with CNN declined to give specifics about how they are bringing medicine into the country, claiming that doing so would threaten the safety of those they are collaborating with there.

The National Right to Life Committee, the leading pro-life organization in the US, has advocated that states strengthen existing laws to make it a crime to assist a woman in having an illegal abortion by providing information about self-managed abortions or “trafficking” in drugs that cause abortions.

A 2021 Texas law already prohibits mailing abortion drugs and poses a risk of jail time for anyone who provides the pills without a doctor’s prescription. And according to legal experts, it’s possible that lawmakers in certain states would try to enact legislation that would forbid women from going outside of their home states to obtain abortions, similar to the legislation that was recently proposed in Missouri.

The day Roe v. Wade was overturned, they heard from 70 women in the US

Sandra Cardona said she and other people will assist persons in the US who can cross the border and would prefer to go to Mexico in getting the prescription and, if necessary, provide a secure location for them to take it.

Spanish meaning “the abortion shop,” Cardona and her partner have turned the second story of their home in Monterrey into the “Abortera.”

There are inviting rooms with couches inside, as well as signs extolling the virtues of “free and dignified abortion.”

She claims that although women frequently arrive scared, they soon seem surprised by how easy the medication abortion procedure is.

“Usually, it takes half a day. They take the misoprostol after taking the first pill, mifepristone, 24 hours before they visit us. The process takes only 3 to 4 hours, and then they are on their way home “claims Cardona. “They comment, “I should have done it in my house,” when they arrive and observe how quickly everything happened. There is pain, of course, but we provide them with a remedy. We are there for them and help them work through it.”

Recently, a woman who conducted her business from home showed up with her laptop and continued to operate even while the drug was absorbed into her system.

Cardona claims that after Texas passed a comprehensive law banning abortions at six weeks and allowing private citizens to bring civil suits against anyone who aids a pregnant person seeking an abortion in violation of the ban, “Red Necesito Abortar” began receiving more messages asking for assistance in September.

According to her, “many ladies are reluctant to do it there for fear of being reported.”

Cardona lists numerous more reasons why she and her boyfriend opened their home, including this one.

“In the months prior to September, we would get 5-7 American women each month. We started receiving 7–10 a week after September. We got 70 messages the day of the Supreme Court ruling. And things have kept moving forward in that manner without stopping down “she claims.

Cardona claims that after the US Supreme Court decision, her organization has received more threats from the US and that her efforts have gained more attention. She claims that won’t stop her, though.

“Allow them to act however they choose. We will continue to follow [these women]. I won’t be terrified of anything that isn’t here “she claims.

Abortion clinics are also preparing for more patients

Not just Mexican advocacy organizations that support access to medication abortions are noticing a change.

Proform, which runs abortion clinics in numerous Mexican cities, was already seeing some American clients before Roe v. Wade was reversed. According to director Luisa Garcia, around 25% of patients seeking abortions at Profem’s clinic in Tijuana in May were from the US.

Garcia claims that although it has only been a short while, “absolutely, we are seeing an increase,” and she anticipates the numbers to rise.

She remarked, “I never would have thought that they would come from the United States to Mexico. “Before, the order was reversed. There were numerous freedoms in the United States. I’m still having trouble processing that.”

Some Americans already frequently go to Mexico for other medical operations. Traveling south of the border to clinics that perform abortions may also increase, according to Garcia.

A week following the US Supreme Court ruling, the non-profit organization Marie Stopes International, which offers contraception and abortion services, opened a clinic in the Mexican border city of Tijuana.

That was just a coincidence, Araceli Lopez claims. The opening of a new clinic necessitates months of planning, according to Nava Vázquez, the Latin America regional director and Mexico country director for Marie Stopes International Reproductive Choices.

According to Nava Vázquez, Marie Stopes clinics in Mexico are anticipating a rise in demand from Americans but have not yet noticed it. According to her, the organization has lately held discussions with a number of Arizonan organizations fighting for access to abortion services and financial support for travel. Additionally, she has given speeches to groups throughout Texas.

It’s very sad, she says, and I sense a lot of hopelessness. It appears as if we have returned to the Middle Ages.

She claims that with so much ambiguity around what will occur in their state going forward, groups in Texas have appeared reluctant to make plans. However, she claims that Marie Stopes is making every effort to assist.

The capital of Mexico has also stated that it is ready to receive any travelers from the US who require assistance with an abortion.

In May, Dr. Oliva López Arellano, the secretary of health for Mexico City, told reporters, “We are a government of inclusivity and we respond to all individuals.” “They are entitled to make choices regarding their bodies. We have a duty to safeguard their health.”

Mexican organizations are imparting their knowledge to their American counterparts.

Advocates from the Mexican organization Marea Verde Nogales chalked the following message on the ground during a recent protest in Tucson, Arizona: “If you need to abort, write to @mareaverdenogales.” They drew a heart next to it with the words “USA Mexico Women United” inside.

Additionally, member Bianca Valverde reports that more calls have been coming in lately from Arizona. The organization intends to assist in training supporters in the United States to use the same techniques to accompany pharmaceutical abortions in addition to providing accompaniment for such procedures.

Despite a judgment by Mexico’s Supreme Court last year, the country’s abortion laws continue to be convoluted. Eight of the country’s 31 states plus Mexico City have decriminalized abortion; other states still have such restrictions in place.

Providers have run into challenges even in jurisdictions where abortion is allowed, Garcia said. Earlier this year, her organization had trouble finding a place for a new clinic in Tijuana.

We rented an apartment in a well-known medical office building that specializes in medical travel, she continued. “They wouldn’t rent to us as soon as they found out it was for abortion.”

However, those who support abortion rights in Mexico claim that after years of overcoming challenges, they have learned an essential lesson that they are now attempting to impart to their colleagues in Canada.

They assert that women may succeed even in the most trying circumstances by seeking support from one another.