Mexico City, Mexico – Amid the devastation of the global epidemic, Maria Muñoz, a 26-year-old journalist, was found to be unwanted in Mexico City. For fear of contracting COVID-19 in a hospital or hospital, she decided to have an abortion at home, with the help of a popular message, WhatsApp.
More and more women in Mexico are turning to social networking sites that advise them on how to use misoprostol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, abortion.
Maria found out about the network through a friend, connected with them and added to the WhatsApp group with insane experts, as well as what they call “abortion”. They visit her regularly to see how she is feeling, send her infographics where she can get misoprostol, how to take the pills, what she should eat before she passes and send her reminders to follow the correct procedure.
While Muñoz lives in Mexico City, one of the two places in Mexico where abortion is legal until the 12th week of pregnancy, she has still opted for online help. “I decided to go home because you often go to the hospital and there are anti-freedom groups fighting you,” he told Al Jazeera. COVID-19, financial availability and the ability to have a partner also helped her make a decision.
Following her abortion she was added to a group of WhatsApp women all over Mexico who had done this and wanted to share their experiences. “I was deeply moved by the obedience of women who had abortions that were not legal and had to suffer from two fears – the fear of abortion and the fear of imprisonment for such a risk,” added Muñoz.
In 30 Mexican countries, the options available to mothers are limited. Disruption of the law is allowed only for reasons other than rape or health reasons that put the woman’s life at risk. Abortion was legal in Oaxaca in 2019 but very few hospitals are providing care, which makes it difficult for women to attend.
The Morras Help Morras fertility justice group, which translates as Girl Scouts, has helped Mexican women to abort their pregnancies. The group receives about nine to 10 requests a day from women who want to end their domestic abortions at home, says Sofia, a senior member of the agency, who did not want to share her last name as she could face legal challenges. She has thousands of followers on social networking sites that help her reach women across the country.
Sofia begins her day of computer work full of social networking windows; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp.
One teenage girl wrote on Facebook: “I’m 15 years old, and I know I’m too young. I don’t know if I’m pregnant. I do not really want to be, because I have so many problems in my family. “Sofia replied kindly, explaining that the first step is to get pregnant at home. He reassures her, “Rest assured, we are here to help you.”
Sofia has been taught what helps her to become an abortionist. She is not a medical professional and has advised those who have an abortion to talk to their health care providers or doctors in their network, if they have any other problems.
“Ridicule does not mean risk. Clandestine means [aborting] in illegal ways but from the ground up we provide detailed, scientific information, “Sofia told Al Jazeera.” Women should have the opportunity to have a good abortion because it is their right, and their right to self-determination. “
Since the COVID-19 home law was promulgated in Mexico on March 23, 2020, reproductive rights activists have documented the difficulties women face in having abortions. Prior to the epidemic, the NGO Fondo Maria provides financial assistance to many women each year to help them move to Mexico City where they can have free and legal abortion.
According to government statistics, 71,418 women from across Mexico had abortions within Mexico City from 2007 to 2020. With the outbreak of the epidemic, only five of the city’s 13 abortion clinics were open.
Sofia Garduño, a lawyer for Fondo Maria, said: “Abortion was previously difficult and the epidemic has exacerbated the problem.” When the Mexican government declared abortion a priority, it was unclear which hospitals would open, and access to contraceptives diminished as women were afraid to leave home as COVID cases ran through the city.
Garduño also highlighted the importance of the groups that go with women through social networking sites that seek to abort their pregnancies during the epidemic. “Most women are at home with their whole family and don’t just call to get information. That’s why we started communicating with them through the internet, ”Garduño told Al Jazeera.
Garduño believes that high unemployment and the economic hardships that followed the epidemic, as well as the prevalence of domestic violence, have led many women to seek abortions last year.
Last December, after a long battle fought by human rights activists, Argentina had an abortion for up to 14 weeks. This prompted “Marea Verde” or the Green Wave election team across Latin America. In Mexico, women runners on green banks are pouring into the streets demanding that their government do the same.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who holds daily meetings, has avoided answering questions about abortion. Asked after the Argentine vote if she would choose to have an abortion she said she would make an unofficial decision. “Because of the decisions I’ve been against, I’ve always thought it best to ask people who don’t force anything,” he said. “In this case, women are free to choose.”
– Morras Help Morras (@helpmorras) March 31, 2021
The non-profit Group for Information on Reproduction and Choice, (GIRE) has been fighting for the past 29 years to legalize abortion in Mexico and does not support a government referendum. “We are talking about human rights, and women have to choose their own bodies. It is not a decision that should be decided by a popular vote, “said Rebeca Ramos, director of GIRE.
“Legal disputes are now in the public sphere,” Ramos told Al Jazeera.
Mexico City has ruled that women can have an abortion if they are raped until the 20th week, when it is legally allowed to last up to 12 weeks.
The Supreme Court of Sinaloa and Coahuila has filed three lawsuits against life-threatening pregnancy, as well as health laws that would prevent medical professionals from refusing to have abortions in cases where women’s lives are at risk. In July 2020, Mexico’s highest court ruled in favor of the state of Veracruz.
– MARIA’s Money (@FondoMARIAmx) May 4, 2021
In the Puebla and Quintana Roo regions, human rights activists have taken over state legislatures in hopes of achieving their reproductive goals. On Saturday, the Puebla State Parliament will meet and freedom fighters will be pressured to discuss abortion. A 94-day stay in Quintana Roo state helped force abortion on what happened in March. Lawmakers voted against law enforcement.
Officials said the vote alone was a victory and challenged the ruling in a legal appeal, called amparos.
As long as abortion is illegal for many Mexican women, groups such as Morras Help Morras, Fondo Maria and others will continue to fill the gap and provide women with information on how to safely have an abortion in their own homes.
You can follow Andalusia K Soloff on Twitter and Instagram at @andalucha