New Texas Abortion Restrictions Create Barriers for Mexican Women

Surgical abortions are hard to come by south of the border


On July 18, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a contentious bill into law that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and adds new regulations for clinics that may shut down most abortion providers in the state. And despite the near-certainty of a court challenge, the Texas House has introduced another bill that would prevent abortion after five weeks of pregnancy.

The media have speculated the legislation will soon send Texans over the border to Mexico in search of a black market for abortion procedures and pharmaceuticals. "At least one sector will gain major business from Americans under the new regulations," according to ThinkProgress, "pharmacies and doctors that provide abortions and cheap abortion-inducing drugs in Mexico."

But what's even more likely, local experts say, is that Mexican women who previously crossed the border in search of safe abortions will now be stranded with few good options in a culture that still hews deeply conservative and Catholic.