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News Article

Mexico Could Be a Choice for US Citizens Looking for an Abortion

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 07/05/2022 - 15:57

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, US citizens looking for safe abortions could seek them at with their neighbors to the south and north. Mexico’s strong medical tourism industry could expand to offer this service, say local experts.

“From the medical tourism cluster in Mexico City, we have looked into offering this service for Americans but it needs to be a very integral offer on our part, as this is a physical and mental health subject,” said Gabriela Clavel, CEO, Abeile Med. The cluster is looking into bioethics concepts to ensure that providers can offer the best care and accompaniment possible to patients, she added.

Since 2007, women can ask for the legal interruption of pregnancies in Mexico City. Later, Colima, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Baja California, Sinaloa, Guerrero and Tlaxcalalegalized the procedure. In those states, abortion is legal for those up to 12 weeks pregnant and longer in cases of rape or to save the patient’s life.

But traveling to those states is often more expensive for those living in the US than visiting a border city such as Tijuana, where numerous medical services are offered at more accessible prices than those in its neighbor California. Traveling to Mexico for the procedure could be an option for those living near the border.

However, traveling to another country is not always possible for migrant people “who historically cannot travel to Mexico to obtain services due to their migration status or lack of resources,” said Fernanda Diaz de Leon, Central America and Mexico Deputy Director of Advocacy, Ipas, to Reuters.

For US citizens, abortion tourism was reality in the early 1970s, when residents from several states traveled to New York City to get the procedure. Abortion tourism slowed down when Roe v. Wade’s Supreme Court decision of 1973 legalized abortion in every state, reducing the need to travel out of state for abortions. However, a Lancet report found that US women travel an average of 11 miles (17.7 km) to get an abortion and about 20 percent travel more than 43 miles (69.2 km).

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst