In-Depth: A Look At Latin America's Harsh Anti-Abortion Laws

Abortion is nothing to take lightly. But making it unlawful leads to tragedy. “Obliging women to resort to clandestine [methods] is really to violate their human rights,” says Díaz de León. Locally, most women I talked to agree. 

Me? I was lucky. Between money from my chavo and the American passport my mom’s sacrifice had gotten me, I was able to fly home to New York. In a clean, modern clinic, a kind nurse held my hand. An ultrasound showed my womb full of blood and not emptying out. There was still a heartbeat, but the pregnancy was failing. We made the choice to take the vacuum abortion.

My heart still hurts when I wonder if the pregnancy might have been saved if I’d felt safe going to a doctor in Quintana Roo. But it hurts more to think of all the women who never make it to a doctor at all.