Analysis

First trimester abortion facility on Mexican border says most clients are Americans

Mexico, Hidalgo, Veracruz, abortion

At an abortion facility in Mexico just across the United States border, staffers are openly admitting they are committing abortions largely on American women.

NPR reported that Profem Tijuana is located “just a few steps across the San Ysidro border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana.” Before the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Americans made up 25% of the women receiving abortions at the facility, but that number has allegedly doubled over the summer with the fall of Roe.

Luisa García, director of the facility, admitted that this is purely anecdotal, and there are no official figures saying how many women leave the country to undergo abortions. “They don’t tell us the truth because they think that we are going to deny them service once they tell us that they’re from the U.S.,” García said of the American patients. “We see people that only speak English, with blue eyes and blond hair — in other words, there’s no way to deny they come from elsewhere.”

Regardless, García said Profem will commit abortions on anyone, regardless of nationality, up to 12 weeks gestation. It’s also significantly cheaper than abortions in the United States, which may be why so many women are flocking there; after all, abortions are readily available in California. Profem charges just $200 to $400, while NPR reports that facilities in the United States cost between $600 and $1,000.

García also explained that the policy is to ask as few questions as possible. “At our clinic, we try to make the process as humane as possible in terms of not labeling, asking, or questioning,” she said. “The decision is difficult enough.”

READ: The idea that pregnancy is ‘slavery’ and ‘servitude’ is not based in reality

Abortion facilities catering to Americans in Mexico appears to have become a trend, as Fundacion Marie Stopes Mexicom, part of MSI Reproductive Choices, also opened a facility six miles from the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The organization was previously known as Marie Stopes International before rebranding in 2020. Araceli Lopez Nava Vázquez, the Latin America regional director and Mexico country director for MSI Reproductive Choices, said the timing of the opening was a coincidence but added that the fall of Roe is “like we’re in the Middle Ages again.”

Baja California, a state in Mexico, legalized abortion in 2021 and currently is the only Mexican state on the United States border to have done so. Mexico City, along with eight of Mexico’s 31 states, has completely decriminalized abortion through the first trimester. Across the border in California, however, there are virtually no restrictions on abortion.

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