What you need to know about Legal Termination of Pregnancy
Legal Termination of Pregnancy, also known as abortion, refers to the medical process of ending fertilization within a week protocol.
This procedure is a controversial worldwide issue, and in Mexico, its practice is not the exception. However, we must mention that it is one of the few Latin American countries that guarantee access to safe termination services, and it symbolizes an improvement in women’s sexual and reproductive rights.
In some states of this country, like Mexico City (since 2007) and more recently Oaxaca, women can go under this procedure during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, both in public hospitals (a free process for residents, that costs a tiny fee for those outside these cities) and private clinics (in which prices may vary).
Procedures for Legal Termination of Pregnancy
There are two endorsed ways of medically ending a pregnancy. This will depend first on the patient’s choice and then, on the number of weeks that she has. Gynecologist Francisco Abel Martínez Avila explains each one of them:
- Medical treatment: this is a non-invasive technique, which means that it does not require incisions or removal of tissue. For this first world method, the specialist gives the patient drugs that are only authorized for specialized clinics; these medicines are not available for purchase in drugstores or similar. Its use has to be under strict medical surveillance, and it shall be considered in accordance with the pregnancy week protocol. According to the specialist, this option works better for patients who have less than 9 weeks.
- Surgical treatment: a safe, effective, and non-ambulatory method (it does not require hospitalization) that is performed under a strict and trustworthy protocol to offer therapeutic certainty. Although it is an invasive procedure, it preserves the anatomy for future fertilization with the latest technology and minimal risks (Manual Endouterine Aspiration). It offers women the chance to return shortly to their daily lives.
Both techniques are endorsed by the Mexican Ministry of Health. It is important to mention that the specialist who performs the ending of pregnancy must accompany the patient through all of the stages.
And what about curettage?
Dr. Martínez Avila clarifies that old procedures like curettage are no longer practiced, as they tend to be invasive, aggressive and can permanently damage the muscle of the uterus causing holes in it, among other complications.
“Legal Termination of Pregnancy represents an absolute and inherent sexual and reproductive right of women, as they are the only ones who are going to live with their choices. We should respect, understand and support them with the biggest professional standards”, stated Dr. Abel, who is an active member of the Mexican Board of Associations for Legal Termination of Pregnancy and an enthusiast for this cause.
And so, he urges specialists to solve every doubt that the patient has about the process, in order to help them pick the appropriate option for her decision.
We want to thank Dr. Francisco Abel Martínez Avila for reviewing this content. He is a gynecologist and obstetrician who provides consultation in Medicci Medical, Specialties Clinic, in Mexico City. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree as a Surgeon at the Mexican School of Medicine of La Salle University 1990, and a Specialty in Gynecology and Obstetrics at General Hospital “Dr. Manuel Gra González” of National Autonomous University of Mexico 1996.