Tijuana (Border Report) – A new abortion clinic has opened its doors in Tijuana, not far from the border, making it more easily accessible for American women who want to terminate their pregnancies.
The facility, located in Tijuana’s popular Zona Rio, will be operated by the Marie Stopes International Foundation, which runs clinics in 37 countries.
“With or without us, women in Mexico are having a million abortions every year,” said Arceli Lopez, Marie Stopes regional managing director in Latin America. “It’s better for them to have a place, a safe place that is of high quality where they can do these procedures.”
Lopez said she would welcome American women who may not have access to abortions in their home states north of the border.
“This clinic can help America’s women have a safe abortion,” she said.
Critics such as Crystal Perez Lira, who runs a social agency for women in Tijuana, are skeptical, calling the clinic nothing more than a stop in the medical tourism industry.
“Due to its location and prices, many women will be left out and unable to access its services,” Perez Lira said. “Hopefully, we’re wrong in all of this, but to me, it seems like something to attract more tourists to the city.”
However, when asked about those concerns, Lopez said the Marie Stopes International Foundation acts like a non-profit and will work with women who may not have the resources.
Although abortion is legal in the Mexican border state of Baja California, currently, it is limited to women who are 12 weeks pregnant, and in most cases, women who have been victims of rape, incest, or poor artificial insemination, or are carrying an embryo that shows a genetic defect.
Additionally, there are only a few doctors currently licensed to perform abortions.
Lopez also said that the clinic offers contraception, counseling and medications that can terminate a pregnancy.
And if necessary, doctors will be ready to perform a surgical abortion, Lopez said.
“Women come here to exercise their right, they mostly come here with their mind, the only thing we will do is give them options,” she said.
One thing Lopez wanted to emphasize is that the clinic also offers services in the form of vasectomy for men.