A Year After the Decriminalization of Abortion in Mexico: What Latin America Can Teach the Rest of the World


A bunch protests the choice of the U.S. Supreme Court docket to overturn Roe v. Wade, exterior the USA embassy in Mexico on June 29, 2022. (Alfredo Estrella / AFP by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

This month, we mark the one-year anniversary of two vital moments in reproductive rights historical past: the landmark decision in Mexico to decriminalize abortion, and the near-total abortion ban in Texas. With reproductive rights transferring in such completely different instructions, what can the U.S. study from the progress feminists are seeing in Latin America?

What occurred final 12 months in Mexico isn’t occurring in isolation. “La Marea Verde” (The Inexperienced Wave) is sweeping by way of the entire continent, difficult restrictive abortion bans and increasing girls’s rights from Uruguay and Mexico to Chile, Argentina and Colombia.

This variation would have been inconceivable even a decade in the past. We’ve got a lot to study from those that have paved the best way and impressed the pro-choice motion the world over.

Grassroots Networks Can Remodel Abortion Entry

As Mexicans and as reproductive rights advocates, we stand on the shoulders of those that got here earlier than us. On Sept. 28, we are going to have a good time Worldwide Protected Abortion Day, a day started by Latin American women within the Eighties in response to restrictive abortion legal guidelines. Again then, girls from throughout the area gathered in Argentina. The occasion grew to become an annual celebration and a rallying name for reproductive rights the world over.

The primary Worldwide Protected Abortion Day was game-changing for ladies. Brazilian girls attending the occasion started spreading the phrase a few capsule invented to deal with gastric ulcers: misoprostol. Little recognized exterior of Brazil at the moment, the drug could possibly be used to soundly terminate an early being pregnant. After the occasion, data of secure medical abortion unfold by phrase of mouth, and the drug grew to become a necessary merchandise for abortion care. Right now, misoprostol is an important lifeline to girls and the drug is used—at the side of the drug mifepristone—as a part of a two-step technique for safely ending early being pregnant.

The World Well being Group recommends two regimens for remedy abortion: misoprostol alone or mixed with one other remedy, mifepristone. (Robyn Beck / AFP by way of Getty Photos)

Right now within the U.S., these medicine are heralded as a approach to safeguard entry, with teams like Plan C and Girls on Net working to make sure entry throughout the U.S. following the Supreme Court docket ruling repealing Roe v. Wade.

We Must Make Choices Based mostly on International Proof

Since 2007 when abortion was legalized in Mexico Metropolis, there was an 80 percent reduction in emergency instances and 0 abortion-related deaths. In different nations the place MSI Reproductive Choices works and abortion is authorized, corresponding to in Ethiopia, Cambodia and Nepal, progressive change has been lifesaving for numerous girls. In distinction, research suggests banning abortion within the U.S. might enhance pregnancy-related deaths by 21 p.c total and by 33 p.c for Black girls. As many U.S. states undertake anti-abortion legal guidelines, some girls will likely be compelled to journey throughout the border to entry secure abortion care in Mexico.

The scenario within the U.S. is a reminder of how far we’ve come. We should look past our personal borders and provide solidarity and help to girls who’ve had their reproductive rights taken away. Our previous ought to provide a reminder of the hazards of limiting abortion, whereas our current can provide hope and motivation to maintain up the battle for progress.

We Can’t Depend on Lawmakers to Repeal Restrictive Abortion Legal guidelines

Progress in Mexico didn’t emerge in a vacuum; nor had been these rights granted to us by lawmakers alone. Latin America’s “La Marea Verde” has delivered ground-breaking progress on reproductive well being and rights, and it was constructed by folks taking to the streets. We’re already seeing extra folks ready to face up and speak in regards to the significance of abortion care. Right now, the identical inexperienced scarves worn by pro-choice advocates throughout Latin America are showing in protest actions globally as a strong image of unity.

Abortion has come a great distance since reproductive rights activists gathered in Argentina 30 years in the past. It’s their willpower and sheer willpower that continues to offer inspiration for ladies combating for secure abortion wherever they’re at the moment.

U.S. democracy is at a harmful inflection level—from the demise of abortion rights, to a scarcity of pay fairness and parental depart, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and assaults on trans well being. Left unchecked, these crises will result in wider gaps in political participation and illustration. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Modification, and centering the tales of these most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we’re redoubling our dedication for the subsequent 50 years. In flip, we’d like your assist, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll obtain the print journal together with our e-newsletters, motion alerts, and invites to Ms. Studios occasions and podcasts. We’re grateful on your loyalty and ferocity.

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