Monday, August 25, 2008
Mexico City Struggles to Make Newly Legalized Abortions Available
NY Times: Mexico City Struggles With Law on Abortion, by Elisabeth Malkin & Nacha Cattan:
When Mexico City’s government made abortion legal last year, it also set out to make it available to any woman who asked for one. That includes the city’s poorest, who for years resorted to illegal clinics and midwives as wealthy women visited private doctors willing to quietly end unwanted pregnancies.
But helping poor women gain equal access to the procedure has turned out to be almost as complicated as passing the law, a watershed event in this Catholic country and in a region where almost all countries severely restrict abortions.
Since the city’s legislature voted for the law in April 2007, some 85 percent of the gynecologists in the city’s public hospitals have declared themselves conscientious objectors. And women complain that even at those hospitals that perform abortions, staff members are often hostile, demeaning them and throwing up bureaucratic hurdles.