Abortion in Mexico

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Abortion has constituted a crime in Mexico at least since 1931. The initial federal law, still on the books, makes abortion punishable with one to three years of imprisonment when carried out with the pregnant woman’s consent and three to six years when carried out without consent. Both women and abortion practitioners can be prosecuted for this crime.

The 1931 penal code waives all criminal penalties for abortion after rape where the pregnant woman’s life would be endangered by a continued pregnancy or where the abortion is the result of negligent behavior on the part of the pregnant woman.

Due to Mexico’s federal structure, the federal penal code provisions on abortion are generally irrelevant to the treatment of this issue at state level and would only apply if the abortion were carried out under exclusively federal jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the 1931 penal code has served as a model for state penal codes. Abortion by rape is the only provision that is applied in all Mexican states.

In recent year, state penal codes have been reformed in some states to lower the penalties for criminal abortions and to further guarantee the access to abortion besides rape. In Mexico City and the State of Oaxaca elective abortion is legal up to 12 weeks of gestational age.

Is abortion in Mexico legal?

No. In general, abortion is a crime in Mexico.
All states waive penalties for abortion in at least one circumstance: where the pregnancy is the result of rape.

Other reasons for waiving the penalty for abortion are:

  • The abortion is the result of negligent behavior on the part of the pregnant woman (29 states)
  • To save the life of the pregnant woman (27 states)
  • The fetus has serious genetic malformations (13 states)
  • To protect the health of the pregnant woman (10 states)
  • The pregnancy is the result of non-consensual artificial insemination (11 states); and
  • The woman already has three other children, for economic reasons (Yucatán).

What Types of Abortion are Available in Mexico?

Medical: Mifepristone + Misoprostol and Misoprostol-only regimens.
Surgical: Surgical: Manual vacuum aspiration abortion (MVA) and Dilation & Curetage (D&C).

What is the abortion rate in Mexico? How Many Women Have Abortions?

As in most countries where abortion is criminalized, estimates on the prevalence of abortion vary widely.

In 2009, Mexico’s national abortion rate was an estimated 38 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44. Abortion rates tend to be higher in the more developed regions of the country, ranging from 54 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in the most developed region to 26–27 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in the two least developed regions.

As of September 2019, legal abortions were performed in a total of 216,755 patients in Mexico, of which 150,737 were women who resided in the capital city, whereas nearly 57,564 came from the neighboring State of Mexico

Abortion with Pills in Mexico (Medical Abortion)

Are the Abortion Pills (Mifepristone and Misoprostol) Available in Mexico?

Mifepristone: Access highly restricted.
Misoprostol: Some vendors may request a prescription.

How Late Into a Pregnancy Can the Abortion Pills Be Used?

Technically, medical regimens can be used at any gestational age, provided the recommended regimen is used for any specific indication/gestational age.

Do I Need a Prescription for Mifepristone? Misoprostol?

Mifepristone: Yes, a prescription is required.
Misoprostol: Some vendors may request a prescription.

What Brands of Abortion Pill Are Popular in Mexico?

Mifepristone:
Mefaprix, 200 mg, (1 tablet)
Zacafemyl, 200 mg (3 tablets)

Misoprostol:
Cytotec, 200 µg (28 tablets)
Taneciprol, 200 µg (12 tablets)
Cyrux, 200 µg (28 tablets)
Generic, 200 µg (28 tablets)

How Much Do the Abortion Pills Cost in Mexico?

Mifepristone: From $ 16 to $ 30 USD per pill
Misoprostol: From $ 1.03 to $ 4.88 USD per pill

Who Can I Contact for More Information on Abortion in Mexico?

In-Clinic Abortion in Mexico

What are the Different Types of in-Clinic Abortion Procedures Available in Mexico?

Manual vacuum aspiration abortions (MVA) and Dilation & Curetage abortions (D&C) for the first trimester.

Where Can I get a Manual Vacum Aspiration (MVA) Abortion in Mexico?

For elective abortions:

  • Public Hospitals and Clinics of the Mexico City’s Ministry of Health
  • Marie Stopes Clinics in Mexico City
  • Private clinics across Mexico City

For other indications:

  • Other public and private hospitals in Mexico.

How Much Does Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) Cost in Mexico?

Public sector:
Free of charge.

Private sector:
$190 – $ 300 USD

How to get further information?

For additional information and support, you can get in touch with our trained multilingual female counselors

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Authors:

by the safe2choose team and supporting experts at carafem, based on the 2019 recommendations by Ipas, and the 2012 recommendations by the WHO.

Human Rights Watch: Women’s Human Rights: Abortion (hrw.org)

Number of legal abortions in Mexico by state 2019 | Statista

México – Cómo hacerse un aborto seguro (comohacerseunaborto.com)

Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion In Mexico | Guttmacher Institute

Disponibilidad y uso obstétrico del misoprostol en los países de América Latina y el Caribe. Luis Távara-Orozco, Susana Chávez, Daniel Grossman, Diana Lara, Martha María Blandón. Revista Peruana de Ginecología y Obstetricia. 2008, 54(4)”