Interview: Abortion right repeal "huge setback" for women's rights in U.S., says Mexican advocate-Xinhua

Interview: Abortion right repeal "huge setback" for women's rights in U.S., says Mexican advocate

Source: Xinhua| 2022-08-25 16:43:45|Editor:

MEXICO CITY, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The repeal of the constitutional right to abortion in the United States is a "huge setback" for rights that will impact not only women, but also minorities and other discriminated sectors, said Mexican abortion rights advocate Sandra Cardona.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Cardona, a member of Monterry-based organization I Need an Abortion Mexico, said she has noted the rise of similar restrictive initiatives against other rights in the United States.

"I think this is going to affect many rights. However, in addition to being a setback, the repeal of abortion rights is a turning point for women to get to know their rights, so that they can have access to information, and take control of their lives and bodies," said the advocate.

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that established a constitutional right to abortion in the nation nearly 50 years ago.

In the last two months, Cardona noted, there has been a notable increase in the number of women from the United States arriving in Mexico for abortions, a behavior decriminalized by Mexico's Supreme Court in September 2021, or contacting support and counseling networks for information on how to carry out the procedure safely at home.

In fact, the advocate added, there had already been women from the United States approaching her organization or writing to her from different vacation destinations in Mexico before the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, as restrictive laws were gaining traction in some U.S. states.

"Before, there were about two or three (messages) a month, five at the most, and then we started to get about three or more a week. The very day of the ruling, we received 70 messages," said Cardona, whose organization provides information to women and promotes safe practices through certified medications recommended by the World Health Organization, which are given free of charge to women in person or are sent to them by mail.

"We present two options: They can have an abortion at home and we send them everything they need ... or they can come in and we meet with them, give them all the information, and if they wish, we let them have it here," she said.

"Women have been fighting for abortion rights in the region for many years, but the U.S. case has gained notoriety because women had the right and it was taken away," she said.

The U.S. trend towards prohibiting abortion, said Cardona, has been an overwhelming challenge for Mexican support networks and collectives, which are guided by solidarity and the conviction that "the important thing is that women be able to decide what they want to do."

Cardona said the abortion right repeal in the United States is in a way strengthening the demand for abortion rights worldwide.

"U.S. women didn't look at what was happening in other countries when they had it (abortion rights), but now that it has happened in their country, they have turned to see what is happening and how it works, and they have realized they are not alone," she said.