'Without a Plan' but 'Keeping on Track': Views on Contraception, Pregnancy and Abortion in Mexico City
Bayer, Angela M
Global public health 2011; 6 Suppl 1: S90-110
Despite increased use of modern contraception among Mexican women, there has been a significant increase in abortions. Little is known about the experiences behind these trends. This study examines decision-making around contraception, pregnancy, childbearing and abortion. We carried out 26 in-depth interviews with 23- to 35-year-old females and males in Mexico City. Interviewees described reproductive planning 'without a plan' and sporadic contraceptive use. Linking of reproductive preferences and contraceptive use occurred only after raising a child for a few years or after experiencing an abortion. Interviewees described side effects of hormonal contraceptives and the intrauterine device (IUD) and problems with condoms. Only 8% of participants disagreed with abortion completely. Those with mixed views opposed abortion for pregnancies resulting from lack of responsibility or due to personal problems or concerns about one's future. However, these more controversial reasons were the primary motivations for terminating pregnancies. Females and males expressed that females made most decisions related to contraception, pregnancy and abortion. Further research could explore the reasons behind reproductive planning 'without a plan', 'on and off' contraceptive use and abortion beliefs and experiences that are somewhat contradictory.
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