No emergency contraception for most rape victims in Mexico

Mexico City, Apr 8 (EFE).- Women who are rape victims in Mexico lack any sure way to get the emergency contraception they have a right to, the Information Group on Reproductive Choice, or GIRE, said Monday.

In a report shown to Efe, the NGO says that 72.5 percent of Mexican women have contraceptive coverage, but the level drops to 58.3 percent among Indian women and to 60.5 percent among those with little formal education.

As for emergency contraception, "despite the fact that public institutions of the National Health System are obliged to offer it within a period of not more than 120 hours" after the rape, the fact is that only 15 of Mexico's 32 states offer it, the document says.

The report acknowledges that in cases of rape, abortion is legal throughout the country, but says that "most offices of state attorneys general are not issuing authorizations" granting women access to the procedure.

"Over the past five years only 39 were issued nationwide," GIRE says.

"Restrictive legislation in matters of abortion and the lack of access even on sound legal grounds drives many women to seek clandestine abortions that put their health and lives at risk," the report says.

"The rate of induced abortions in 2009 is estimated at 38 out of every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, or 1.02 million induced abortions" that year, one of the "highest in the world," the NGO says.

"In 2010 alone, abortion caused 11 percent of the deaths of women in childbirth in Mexico," GIRE says.