TRIGGER WARNING //
Everyone deserves the right of choice and safety. Period.
And whilst every country has its flaws when it comes to crime, human rights, and justice (with Mexico by far being no exception!), it feels so mixed to see so much street art from my recent trip like these below. On hospitals, on churches, on the sides of houses. So shameful and sad but with a hint of power, to walk around and see so obviously the change that people want, but also the care that they’re not receiving here in Mexico.
Whether you like it or not, the need for abortions will ALWAYS exist. And what’s already a difficult and traumatic experience has the extra added fear of danger and death. Because every year, there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions worldwide, but 45% of these will be unsafe. That’s 25 million unsafe abortions every year. 68,493 every day.
Here in Mexico, every state is different but there are only two states where it’s completely legal to have an abortion with one of the main legal grounds for an abortion nationwide being rape. But in a country where it’s estimated that a rape occurs every 4 minutes, and where most rapes go unreported, these are pretty ridiculous grounds.
And again, Mexico is no exception, because there’s an estimated 450 million women who live in countries with similar laws and situations, and some even worse. With deep ties to religion, culture and tradition making change much more difficult, those who are most vulnerable remain the most affected.
Preventing safe and legal abortions leads to many more health, funding, and inequality issues. It costs countries like the USA more than $7.5 billion a year just to treat complications from unsafe abortions. The financial burdens can also weigh heavy on women, their families, and their entire communities.
Money aside, and more importantly, women die every day from something that should be preventable, but they have no choice over. More than 7 million women are admitted to hospitals every year in developing countries, because of unsafe abortions. And these are just the ones that make it to a hospital. Object trauma, haemorrhaging and infections are just some of the risks they face. The methods are so inhumane that my tummy turned whilst trying to research these more. From metal hangers and knitting needles, to pumping toxic liquids and consuming unsafe drugs, the methods are brutal, heart-breaking and all with high risks of death.
On top of all of this, the pandemic has heightened the difficulty of accessing safe abortions. With the closure of hospitals and health-care spaces, shortages of supplies with contraceptives, girls and women being at home for longer whilst violence increases and schools, security and educational spaces staying closed, the most vulnerable remain the most affected. Again.
This is not only my opinion, these are statistics. Awful and preventable statistics. The flaws in our world. These statistics might not affect you reading, and for someone like me to be born in a country where contraceptives and abortions are common, safe, and legal, we should count our blessings every day, that should we need it, we have a choice.
We might never fully understand what some of these women go through. And it’s not about being pro-life or pro-choice and picking sides, it’s about support, having open conversations and creating safer spaces. Which is why it should be in the interest of everyone, whether it affects you or not, to prevent unsafe abortions worldwide. To use our privileges, our knowledge, and our voices to inspire change and fight for these basic rights, for all of us. Through law reforms, education, prevention via contraception and the option of safe and legal abortion, change is completely possible and should always be an option.
To support and to find support;
To educate, read and watch (and where I got my stats from);