‘In 24 Hours, You’ll Have Your Pills:’ American Women Head to Mexico for Abortions

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Along with Floridians Protecting Freedom, Hochkammer and his group are calling for an amendment that would make it illegal to enforce abortion laws before or if it is necessary for the patient’s health. A total of 890,000 signatures are needed to do so in the November 2024 general election.

“The proposed measure is supported by 70 percent of Floridians and more than 60 percent of Republicans; even 57 percent of people who call themselves Trump supporters agree with the language of the program,” he explains. The numbers are consistent with polls that say more than half of Americans approve of abortion all or most of the time.

Florida, which has banned abortions at 15 weeks, is one of 21 states that have enacted abortion bans since then. Roe v. Wade it rolled over. Some of Florida’s neighbors have gone even further: In Mississippi and Alabama, abortion is almost completely banned, and in Georgia, women can have an abortion within the first six weeks of pregnancy.

Some organizations, however, are very skeptical of abortion rights in Florida and hope that they will soon become even smaller. In April 2023 Governor Ron DeSantis signed a six-week ban passed by the state legislature. (The law is on hold pending a legal challenge to the 15-week ban that is before the Florida Supreme Court.)

Starting Dobbs, pro-choice organizations have been leading abortion efforts. Kamila Przytuła is the head of the Women Emergency Network (WEN), which, since 1989, has been providing support to women seeking abortions through private donations.

“Abortion can cost between $500 and $1,000 if performed outside the state. For some women, this may mean choosing to pay or buy food,” explains Przytuła. WEN works with other organizations that receive cases from hospitals and all pay a portion of the abortion costs. “This has helped us to be able to help everyone who has come to seek help from us,” he says.

According to statistics published by the Guttmacher Institute, about one in five abortion patients in the United States traveled abroad to receive an abortion in the first half of 2023. This number is twice as high as it was in 2020.

Abortion restrictions particularly affect young, Black, and immigrant women—many of the people WEN connects with. Przytuła remembers one of the many people she has met: a Central American woman, uneducated and HIV positive. WEN donated money to help with abortion.

“He was in great danger, we heard about his problem through the hospital that is helping him. A few months earlier she moved north to Miami with her uncle, who had no idea she was pregnant.” He was taken to a hospital in Miami for treatment.

She is one of 600 Florida women who have been helped by the organization to have an abortion, one of the millions of women in the state who face America’s anti-abortion laws that force many to do it in secret.

This article was produced with the support of the International Women’s Media Foundation as part of Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, and Justice in America. It appeared first WIRED in Spanish. It was translated by John Newton.

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