Sociodemographic factors associated with obstacles to abortion care: findings from a survey of abortion patients in Mexico City

Womens Health Issues. 2011 May-Jun;21(3 Suppl):S16-20. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2011.02.009.


Background: First-trimester abortion was legalized in Mexico City in 2007, and services are now provided at public and private sites throughout the city. However, little is known about the obstacles women face when seeking abortion care.

Methods: We surveyed women who obtained abortion services (n = 398) at three public sector facilities in Mexico City to identify the obstacles women faced when obtaining abortions. We used logistic regression to test whether obstacles varied by sociodemographic characteristics.

Results: Women with low education were more likely than high school-educated women to report difficulty getting appointments. Unmarried women and women with low education were more likely than married women or high school educated women to report difficulty getting time off work for appointments and arranging for transportation to the facility. Separated or divorced women were more likely than married women to report partner or other family member opposition to the abortion. Women who lived outside of Mexico City were more likely than Mexico City residents to report difficulty with transportation.

Conclusion: Education, marital status, and place of residence were associated with the obstacles women reported. Strategies to improve access to care should be targeted to the groups at highest risk of experiencing obstacles: Women with primary education or lower, single women, separated/divorced women, and those residing outside of Mexico City.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Legal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Surveys
  • Hospitals, Public
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marital Status*
  • Mexico
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Social Support*