By Manuel Ayala
Tijuana, Mexico, Jul 23 (EFE).- With the right to abortion no longer assured throughout the United States, a major provider of reproductive services in Mexico recently opened its first clinic in this city just across the border from San Diego.
Fundacion Marie Stopes Mexico’s Tijuana facility is just 10 km (6 mi) from the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
The foundation’s MSI Reproductive Services arm, whose motto is “Children by choice and not by chance,” is ready to accommodate women of all nationalities.
The Tijuana location is MSI’s ninth clinic and opened early this month thanks to October 2021 legislation that made Baja California the first – and so far, only – Mexican state on the US border to allow abortion for any reason up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
Dr. Alfonso Gerardo Carrera Riva Palacio, the foundation’s medical director, told Efe Saturday that the organization’s aim is “to support women so they can exercise their rights.”
Mexico City and eight of the country’s 31 states have fully decriminalized termination during the first trimester, and the Mexican Supreme Court ruled last September that complete prohibition of abortion violates the constitution of the Aztec nation.
MSI carries out abortions in line with the protocols of the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant Mexican law and regulation, Carrera Riva Palacio said.
“This means that there is a directive and a clinical guide to be able to offer it in a safe and legal manner,” he stressed, explaining that the process, which involves taking two pills, 36 hours apart, has a failure rate of just 3 percent.
The typical patient is older than 26 and 80 percent of those who seek help from MSI “have children, are heads of household and are Catholic,” Carrera Riva Palacio said.
One in three pregnancies in Mexico is unwanted and every state, including the most conservative ones, permits abortion in cases of rape.
Given last month’s US Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, the doctor said that he expects the clinic in Tijuana will treat patients from north of the border.
“The stigma about abortion has existed and will continue existing because there are people who want to control women’s decisions,” he said. EFE ma/dr