Acceptance of induced abortion amongst medical students and physicians in Mexico

Rev Invest Clin. Jul-Aug 2006;58(4):305-12.


Background: Abortion is illegal in most of Mexico, except in the case of rape or physical risk to the mother, but there are several indicators that suggest that at least in Mexico City, society would like to have a more liberal law. The present study was performed to learn what several groups of physicians and medical students residing outside of Mexico City think in this regard.

Methods: Seven colleagues working in different cities agreed to apply a questionnaire to physicians and or medical students available to them, to learn their opinions regarding the acceptability of induced abortion in several scenarios. Questions one to tree inquires if abortion is acceptable up to week 20 of pregnancy at the simple request of the parents, if the fetus has a severe malformation or anencephaly. Questions four to six personalize the situations by supposing that the physician or spouse have a high risk of having a malformed child. Question seven asks if they would offer prenatal diagnosis to a mother who would abort a malformed fetus. Statistical procedure includes multivariate analysis.

Results: The inter-city physicians-students composition was very heterogeneous. The majority of respondents disagreed with abortion on demand of the parents, but clearly agrees to it in the presence of severe malformations. In general males, above 30 years old physicians and less religious individuals, are more in favor to abortion than their respective counterparts. The proportion of acceptance is over 70% in most cases.

Conclusion: We believe that this work shows a preliminary indication of a national trend amongst physicians and medical students favoring induced early abortion if the fetus has a severe malformation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires