MEXICO – Factors influencing abortion decisions among women living outside Mexico City: results from a cross-sectional study 

by Camille Garnsey, Alexandra Wollum, Sofía Garduño Huerta, Oriana López Uribe, Brianna Keefe-Oates, Sarah E Baum

Sexual & Reproductive Health Matters, 2022;29(3)   (Open access)

Access to abortion throughout much of Mexico has been restricted. Fondo Maria (FM) is an abortion accompaniment fund that provides informational, logistical, financial, and emotional support to people seeking abortion care in Mexico. This cross-sectional study examines the factors that influenced decision-making and contributed to delays in accessing care and explores experiences with Fondo Maria’s support among women living outside Mexico City (CDMX). We describe and compare the experiences of women across the sample (n = 103) who were either supported by Fondo Maria to travel to CDMX to obtain an abortion (n = 60), or self-managed a medical abortion in their home state (n = 43). Data were collected between January 2017 and July 2018. Seventy-seven percent of participants reported that it was difficult to access abortion care in their home state and 34% of participants indicated they were delayed in accessing care, primarily due to a lack of financial support. The majority of participants (58%) who travelled to CDMX for their abortion did so because it seemed safer. The money/cost of the trip was the most commonly cited reason (33%) why participants who self-managed stayed in their home state. Eighty-seven percent of participants said Fondo Maria’s services met or exceeded their expectations. Our data suggest that people seeking abortion and living outside CDMX face multiple and overlapping barriers that can delay care-seeking and influence decision-making. Abortion accompaniment networks, such as Fondo Maria, offer a well-received model of support for people seeking abortion in restrictive states across Mexico.

Figure 2 

Participant-reported factors that would reduce delays to care among participants who did not receive abortion care as early as they wanted to (n = 35)

Note: FM Clinic = Those who received support from Fondo Maria to attend a clinic in Mexico City. FM State = Those who received support from Fondo Maria to use medical abortion pills at home. Participants could select more than one option, percentages may add to more than 100%.