Abortion Laws by Country

Américas | México

Abortion Laws in Mexico

Introduction

Since 2007, abortion services have been available upon request in Mexico City and since 2019 in Oaxaca for all women seeking to terminate their pregnancies within the first 12 weeks of gestation. In the rest of Mexico, the legality of abortion depends on local laws. Mexico has high numbers of unsafe abortions because of its restriction outside Mexico City and Oaxaca.

Estimates suggest that between 1990-2013, 83% of women using unsafe abortion methods in Mexico ended up requiring hospitalization, and 53% died1, most of whom were adolescents. Women can travel to Mexico City and Oaxaca to access safe abortion procedures. Some organizations will even help women with relocation to the capital for abortion services.

Is abortion legal after the first trimester in Mexico City and Oaxaca?

Abortion is legal in Mexico City and Oaxaca within the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. However, an abortion can be performed after the 12th week of pregnancy if the pregnancy is a result of unwanted insemination, rape or incest and/or if it is approved by two medical practitioners under the following conditions:

  • continuing the pregnancy may be a risk to the mother’s physical or mental health; and/or
  • the fetus may have severe physical or mental abnormalities should the pregnancy continue to full term;
  • unavoidable circumstances that might happen to the woman.

Abortion legality within the 12 weeks of gestation for the rest of Mexico

Access to abortion is quite different in the rest of the country, outside of Mexico City and Oaxaca. A woman within 12 weeks of gestation can terminate her pregnancy depending on the following conditions written under each individual state’s law2:

  • Aguascalientes- rape and/or life in danger.
  • Baja California- rape, life in danger, and/or unwanted insemination.
  • Baja California Sur- rape, life in danger, health at risk, abnormalities in the fetus, and/or unwanted insemination.
  • Campeche- rape and/or health at risk.
  • Coahuila de Zaragoza- rape, life in danger, and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Colima- rape, life in danger, health at risk, abnormalities in the fetus, and/or unwanted insemination.
  • Chiapas- rape, life in danger, and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Chihuahua- rape, health at risk, and/or unwanted insemination.
  • Durango- rape and/or life in danger.
  • Guanajuato- rape.
  • Guerrero- rape, health at risk, unwanted insemination and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Hidalgo- rape, health at risk, unwanted insemination and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Jalisco- rape, life in danger, and/or health at risk.
  • Mexico State- rape, life in danger, and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Michoacán de Ocampo- rape, health at risk, unwanted insemination, abnormalities in the fetus and/or economic problems.
  • Morelos- rape, life in danger, abnormalities in the fetus, and/or unwanted insemination.
  • Nayarit- rape, life in danger, and/or health at risk.
  • Nuevo León- rape, life in danger, and/or health at risk.
  • Oaxaca- upon request within the first 12 weeks.
  • Puebla- rape, life in danger, and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Querétaro- rape.
  • Quintana Roo- rape, life in danger, and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • San Luis Potosí- rape, life in danger, and/or unwanted insemination.
  • Sinaloa- rape and/or life in danger.
  • Sonora- rape and/or life in danger
  • Tabasco- rape, life in danger, and/or unwanted insemination.
  • Tamaulipas- rape, life in danger, and/or health at risk.
  • Tlaxcala- rape, health at risk, unwanted insemination, and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave- rape, life in danger, unwanted insemination and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Yucatán- rape, life in danger, and/or abnormalities in the fetus.
  • Zacatecas- rape, life in danger, and/or health at risk.

What are the different abortion services available in Mexico?

Mexico provides both medical and surgical abortion services. For medical abortion (MA), a combination of two drugs, Mifepristone and Misoprostol is used. Surgical procedures that are available are Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) and Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

Depending on the number of weeks of the pregnancies, women have access to the following3:

  • Medical Abortion (Abortion by pill: Mifepristone, Misoprostol, Cytotec). Commonly used for pregnancies up to 9 weeks.
  • Manual Vacuum Aspiration. An abortion method used for pregnancies of more than 9 weeks.
  • Dilation and Curettage for more than 12 weeks of gestation.
  • Post Abortion Care

Who can perform abortions in Mexico?

Abortions in Mexico can be performed by registered health professionals like:

  • Medical Doctors
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Gynecologists
  • Midwives
  • Nurses

Where can I go for abortion services in Mexico?4

There are options for all budgets. For some of these places, women will need to travel to Mexico City or Oaxaca.

  • Private Hospitals
  • Public hospitals
  • Private clinics
  • Private sanatorium
  • Private practices of registered health professional
  • Specialized private sexual and reproductive health facilities, i.e. Marie Stopes

What is the cost of an abortion in Mexico?

In Mexico, the price of abortion services varies depending on the type of abortion and abortion care facility. Government (public) facilities listed at Secretaría de Salud de la CDMX provide free abortions.
In private clinics:

  • Medical abortion from 4 weeks to 9 weeks of pregnancy costs on average between $500 MXN - $3,500 MXN.
  • Manual Vacuum Aspiration from 8 weeks to 12 weeks on average between $2,500 MXN - $7,000 MXN.
  • Surgical abortion from 8 weeks and beyond 12 weeks on average between $2,800 MXN - $9,500 MXN.
  • Most of the procedures include a contraceptive method for free.
  • Medical aid (insurance) has criteria for covering abortion. Please check what yours covers.

What are the legal and safe drugs available in Mexico?

Depending on the location, these are the legal and safe medical abortion pills recommended for a safe abortion. Just remember you need to follow guidelines and/or pay a visit to a health provider in order to not harm yourself.

  • Mifepristone (RU-486) plus misoprostol (Cytotec or Cyrux)
  • Misoprostol

Can I buy abortion pills at a pharmacy in Mexico?

Yes, Misoprostol can be sold without a medical prescription, but for you to buy Mifepristone you will be required to have a medical prescription.

Can I buy abortion pills online in Mexico?

Yes, some clinics will offer you the option to deliver the pills to your address.

What do the abortion pills look like in Mexico?

There are various brand names for abortion pills that are available in Mexico. Misoprostol is a commonly available brand at pharmacies and this is what it looks like:

This is what another brand of Misoprostol only, Cytotec looks like:

This is what Mefaprix, which is a brand name for Mifepristone looks like:

Who can I contact for additional abortion information and support in Mexico?

You can contact the following health facilities and organizations through phone or directly on their websites.

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