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Characteristics of Private Abortion Services in Mexico City after Legalization


Schiavon, Raffaela; Collado, Maria Elena; Troncoso, Erika; Soto Sánchez, José Ezequiel; Zorrilla, Gabriela Otero; & Palermo, Tia M. (2010). Characteristics of Private Abortion Services in Mexico City after Legalization. Reproductive Health Matters, 18(36), 127-135.


In 2007, first trimester abortion was legalized in Mexico City, and the public sector rapidly expanded its abortion services. In 2008, to obtain information on the effect of the law on private sector abortion services, we interviewed 135 physicians working in private clinics, located through an exhaustive search. A large majority of the clinics offered a range of reproductive health services, including abortions. Over 70% still used dilatation and curettage (D&C); less than a third offered vacuum aspiration or medical abortion. The average number of abortions per facility was only three per month; few reported more than 10 abortions monthly. More than 90% said they had been offering abortion services for less than 20 months. Many women are still accessing abortion services privately, despite the availability of free or low-cost services at public facilities. However, the continuing use of D&C, high fees (mean of $157–505), poor pain management practices, unnecessary use of ultrasound, general anaesthesia and overnight stays, indicate that private sector abortion services are expensive and far from optimal. Now that abortions are legal, these results highlight the need for private abortion providers to be trained in recommended abortion methods and quality of private abortion care improved.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Reproductive Health Matters


Schiavon, Raffaela
Collado, Maria Elena
Troncoso, Erika
Soto Sánchez, José Ezequiel
Zorrilla, Gabriela Otero
Palermo, Tia M.