An international abortion chain has opened on the United States-Mexico border, close to San Diego, California.
Fundacion Marie Stopes Mexico has a new abortion facility just six miles from San Ysidro Port of Entry, as part of MSI Reproductive Choices. Their motto is “Children by choice and not by chance.” The organization was previously known as Marie Stopes International before rebranding in 2020.
In 2021, Baja California, a state in Mexico, legalized abortion, the only 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. With the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion activists see the Mexican border as an opportunity to have American women continue to have abortions. Verónica Cruz, a Mexican abortion activist, told KAKE she has been inundated with calls from American women.
“As soon as the Supreme Court decision came out, they were left without service. There are many people who call us crying, very desperate. And the majority don’t even speak Spanish,” she said, adding, “It surprised me that Mexico is going forward, and the United States is going backward. I never imagined that.”
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Sandra Cardona, who runs an abortion referral network, said, “A beautiful web is being woven so that women can have different options.”
However, Araceli Lopez Nava Vázquez, the Latin America regional director and Mexico country director for MSI Reproductive Choices, said the opening of their new facility in Mexico was not planned. “That was a coincidence,” she said. “What I sense is a lot of hopelessness, and it is really sad. It’s like we’re in the Middle Ages again.”
Mexico City Health Secretary Dr. Oliva López Arellano also said the country will welcome American women seeking abortions. “We are a government of inclusion and we attend to all people,” she said. “They have the right to make decisions about their bodies. We have the obligation to protect their health.”
The new facility in Tijuana allegedly stands ready to welcome women of all nationalities, according to La Prensa Latina. Alfonso Gerardo Carrera Riva Palacio, medical director for the facility, said they follow Mexican law and WHO regulations regarding abortion. “This means that there is a directive and a clinical guide to be able to offer it in a safe and legal manner,” he said. “The stigma about abortion has existed and will continue existing because there are people who want to control women’s decisions.”
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