Abortion Law HB2 Possible Effects: Part II - Illegal Abortions in MX
Oct 29, 2013 at 5:19 PM CST
Oct 29, 2013
Many Texas abortion clinics were ready to close had Texas House Bill 2 restricting abortions would have gone into effect Tuesday, October 29th. However, one day before, a judge ruled the law unconstitutional. The ruling is expected to be appealed. The closing of these clinics would have inevitably affected the availability of abortions in the state. As Valerie Gonzalez reports, if the law ultimately goes into effect, we could see a rise in women considering desperate measures to obtain abortions.
Where there is a will there's a way. Dr. Rafael E. De Ayala, obstetrician & gynecologist, says, “they're going to do what they're going to do."
Doctor Rodolfo E. de Ayala believes women who might become desperate to receive an abortion may resort to seeking one out in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico a place where they are illegal, but commonplace. Just ask around. Isis A. Reyna Hdz., a student nurse in Mexico, confirms, “Si, si pasa. [Reporter: Is it still happening?] Si.” Dr. Ma. Luisa Benitez also confirms these procedures and adds, “Si viene mucha gente del otro lado, y no solamente por la pastilla sino como te digo tambien vienen para que se les practice un aborto verdad.” [Translation: Yes, people from across the border don't just come for the pill, but also for the abortion procedure.]
Locals we spoke with recall details of their encounters with U.S. women who have already received the procedure. Isis tells us of one of those times: “Llego una muchacha, y un muchacho. El muchacho trailla cargado a la muchacha. Entonces ella dijo que se habia caido, y el muchcaho llego con el feto en una bolsita de basura y alli traia el feto.” Nurse-in-training Isis Argelia Reyna Hernandez tells of the time she witnessed a young U.S. teen go to a government hospital with her boyfriend carrying the unborn fetus in a plastic bag. This is the reality that defies Mexican law regularly.
Another doctor who now works in a Nuevo Laredo pharmacy says she knows the affordability is what drives U.S. women to Mexico. "Eso es otro detalle que la gente viene mucho aca por que aqui es mucho mas economico que en Laredo, TX." [Translation: People come over here, because it's much more affordable than in Laredo, TX.]
One of those affordable options commonly sought out is the so called 'abortion pill' that goes by the name of Cytotec. "No es muy dificil de conseguirla.” [Translation: It's not very difficult to obtain that pill.] The off-label use of this drug is to induce labor. Dr. Benitez says there has been a significant increase in demand. "Llegaba una cajita de como seis al principio, y ahora nos llego un abasto, bastante, porque se esta tomando como si fueran caramelos." [Translation: We would only get a small box of the product at first, but we're getting a lot more inventory now because they're being consumed like candy.]
Set aside the low financial cost, the consequences of taking this drug without proper medical supervision could end up costing you more than you planned. "Where we run into trouble is with people who don't know how far along they are, or who are further along and don't understand that they really shouldn't be using it that far along." Because abortions are illegal in Mexico, women are putting their lives at risk by visiting clinics that are unregulated, potentially unsafe, and unsanitary. Then there is the legal issue to consider – women who are caught receiving the illegal procedure in Mexico could face prosecution.
Unfortunately, these consequences may not be enough to dissuade women in desperate situations from crossing the border. Dr. de Ayala shares his prognosis of the possible new law, “Just because there is laws against it, doesn't necessarily mean that people aren't going to find a way around it."
Although these health professionals disagree on a few points, they do agree that education is necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to warn of the possible outcomes of taking risks with controversial abortion methods.
For more information on House Bill 2, please visit: http://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB2/2013/X2