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

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

Together with Floridians Protecting Freedom, Hochkammer and her team are calling for an amendment that would make it unconstitutional to pass legislation limiting access to abortion prior to viability or when necessary for a patient’s health. A total of 890,000 signatures are needed to get this initiative on the November 2024 general election ballot.

“The initiative we’ve proposed is supported by 70 percent of Floridians and more than 60 percent of Republicans support it; even 57 percent of people who self-identify as Trump supporters agree with what the initiative’s language,” she explains. These numbers are consistent with polls that say more than half of Americans approve of access to abortion in all or most cases.

Florida, which has banned abortions after 15 weeks, is one of 21 states that have introduced restrictions on abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Some of Florida’s neighbors have gone even further: In Mississippi and Alabama, abortion has been banned almost completely, and in Georgia, women can only get abortions during the first six weeks of pregnancy.

Other organizations, however, are more pessimistic about abortion rights in Florida and expect that they will soon be even further limited. In April 2023 Governor Ron DeSantis signed a six-week ban that had been passed by the state legislature. (That legislation is on hold pending a legal challenge to the state’s current 15-week ban that is before the Florida supreme court.)

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

“An abortion can cost between $500 to $1,000 if performed out of state. For some women, that can mean having to choose whether to pay their utilities or buy food,” explains Przytuła. WEN works in conjunction with other organizations that receive cases from clinics and collectively cover a portion of the abortion costs. “That has allowed us to be able to help every person who has approached us seeking assistance,” she says.

According to statistics published by the Guttmacher Institute, nearly one in five abortion patients in the United States traveled to another state to access an abortion during the first half of 2023. That figure is double what it was in 2020.

Abortion bans especially impact young, Black, and migrant women—the main populations that contact WEN. Przytuła recalls once case among the many she has been involved with: a Central American woman, who is illiterate and HIV positive. WEN provided financial support for an abortion.

“She was in a very vulnerable situation, we learned about her case through the clinic that was treating her. A few months earlier she had migrated north to Miami with her uncle, who could not have known she was pregnant.” She was transported and treated at a clinic in Miami.

She is one of 600 Florida women who the organization has helped to get abortions, one of the millions of women in the state who face some of America’s most extreme abortion restrictions forcing many into secrecy.

This story was produced with the support of the International Women’s Media Foundation as part of its Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, and Justice in the Americas initiative. It originally appeared on WIRED en Español. It was translated by John Newton.


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