When she found out she was pregnant for the eighth time, “F”, 30, wanted to cry.
A housewife is financially dependent on her husband, she was upset for three weeks but always came back to the same conclusion: “I can’t keep this baby.”
But there was another problem.
His state of Texas has recently made access to abortion extremely difficult, as are many conservative states. The law prohibits virtually any voluntary termination of pregnancy after six weeks, before most women become pregnant.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal right to abortion, returning the right to ban it in every state. And since September 2021, what Texas women are crossing – having to travel to terminate a pregnancy – will become more common, with many southern and central states banning the procedure immediately.
From his hometown of El Paso, just a 45-minute walk from “F” to Santa Teresa, New Mexico, where a clinic dedicated to reproductive health opened in 2015 thanks to more progressive legislation than in the past. Texas 7
– “A maniac with a gun” –
But others have to go far.
“The hardest thing for me was how to get here,” said Ehrece, a 35-year-old engineer who traveled about 1,000 kilometers from Dallas, the last part of which was in a taxi.
“The driver dropped me off at the gas station next door and I walked here, so no one knew where I was going,” he added.
This woman, who still does not want children for professional reasons, has good reason to worry.
Texas law makes it possible to prosecute anyone directly or indirectly involved in an abortion. This includes caregivers but also, for example, Uber drivers who take patients to the clinic.
“They don’t make it easy,” says Emily, a 35-year-old yoga teacher who doesn’t want to be a mother.
“You’re worried someone is attacking you in front of the clinic, or a lunatic with a gun,” he added.
Workers protesting in front of the building are not afraid of Dr. Franz Thiard.
This 73-year-old obstetrician has been performing abortions since the 1980s, when doctors were sometimes injured and even died due to their abortions.
“We are very fortunate that New Mexico has very progressive legislation,” Dr. Third told AFP.
She no longer performs surgical abortions but prescribes abortion pills: the first mifepristone, to prevent the development of pregnancy, the next day, misoprostol tablets, to start contractions.
In the waiting room, his assistant, Rocio Negret, answered many of the patients’ questions.
“How many weeks have you been?” He asked. “We have an appointment available, but we can only see you for up to 10 weeks.”
Surgical abortion is possible in New Mexico towards the end of pregnancy, and medical abortion is allowed up to about 10 weeks.
Rocio Negrete is getting more and more calls from people outside of New Mexico.
But some women, fearful or without adequate financial resources (the process costs 700 700), cross other borders in search of alternatives.
– “It doesn’t make sense” –
Half an hour drive south of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In several pharmacies, boxes of 26 tablets of misoprostol, presented as a treatment for ulcers, are available for থেকে 20 to 50 50.
Mifepristone is harder to find, but AFP has been able to find some.
“Women buy it and don’t know how to use it,” said a pharmacist at Ciudad Juarez with a box of misoprostol in his hand. “It’s dangerous, it can cause bleeding, so it’s best to consult a doctor,” he added.
In Santa Teresa, New Mexico, all the women we met insisted: It is vital that legal abortion be possible.
“If a woman wants to have an abortion, she’ll get it,” said Ehres, a 35-year-old engineer.
“There’s going to be a lot of illegal things that women can commit suicide with because there’s no one to support them, there’s no place where they can do it safely,” he continued.
“It’s tiring. Honestly, it doesn’t mean that today, in 2022, we can’t independently make our own decisions about what we want to do.”