Activists in Mexico and Canada are already preparing for a possible influx of Americans crossing the border to seek abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
In Mexico, which has historically provided cheap access to healthcare for Americans living in the borderlands, activists say they have already seen a surge in women coming from Texas to seek access to abortion pills.
They now say they’re getting ready for a potential spike in demand from other U.S. states after a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling protecting a woman’s right to an abortion, was leaked to the media earlier this month. While it’s not clear how accurately the draft will reflect the forthcoming decision, the leak has already prompted concerns that many states with so-called trigger laws will outlaw abortion entirely once the decision from the top court is made.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization that focuses on sexual and reproductive health, around 40 million U.S. women between the ages of 13 and 44 live in states that have demonstrated hostility to abortion rights.
This figure represents more than half — 58 percent — of all women in the United States.
As part of their research, the institute has created a map showing how far women seeking abortion care would have to drive to find resources in the event of a partial or total ban on abortions. In some cases, like Texas, the distances are vast -— suggesting it may be easier for many to cross a closer international border.
Verónica Cruz Sánchez, the founder of Las Libres, a Mexican organization that advocates for abortion rights, said in an interview with The Hill that women are crossing the length of the US-Mexico border into states from Baja California and Sonora in the west, to Coahuila and Tamaulipas in the east.
Sánchez’s organization helps women obtain access to abortion pills, which can be taken at home. She shared that this at home procedure, which is conducted without immediate supervision, is still carried out under the protocols of the World Health Organization.