How Mexican activists are providing abortion drugs to Texans

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Since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, a group of Mexican activists – known as Las Libres – that helps people get abortions has seen an increase in calls from Texans and others living in the U.S. Las Libres mainly helps people get abortions. obtain safe medical abortions.

Dianne Solis, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News who covers immigration and social justice issues, joined the Texas Standard to share more about how the group is helping people in Texas.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity:

TexasStandard: Tell us a bit about Las Libres itself.

Diane Solis: It was created in 2001 in the capital of Guanajuato, in the state of Guanajuato, by VerĂ³nica Cruz and her allies, who were outraged that women and girls who had been victims of rape or incest found it very difficult to obtain abortions. Last year, the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico decriminalized abortion.

Las Libres have gone from 10 daily calls to about 100 daily. And apparently many of those calls are from Texas. Who calls, and can you tell us more about it?

I can talk about it in general terms. They are people looking for a solution to end a pregnancy, and they are of all age groups. Many of the people don’t speak Spanish, so they’re probably not Latin American immigrant women. Las Libres does not save or obtain the names of people, so there is no database to know who these people are or what their age groups are. This is just in general terms what the group leader told me.

Let me ask you how that influences many people to seek what are called medical abortions, using misoprostol and mifepristone. Does this group provide those medications?

They do. And they do it following the protocol of the World Health Organization. Some of the other groups we talked to also have doctors who work with them. So it’s usually a five-pill regimen to be taken: one of one pill and four of another. In the case of one of these drugs, it has been used solely for abortion, and that’s without taking the other drugs. That particular drug is available without a prescription in Mexico.

” FROM NPR: How Medical Abortion Works

So, is there a problem, from a legal point of view, with this organization that supplies these medicines – I imagine by mail? Do they ask people to travel to Mexico to get them? How do they distribute?

They use both methods. Some people come across the border. And they have told us that they turn to some of the NGOs in Mexico, that have reserves of medicines on the US side, I don’t know where. But Mexicans believe that they are beyond persecution, that they are not doing anything illegal, because abortions have been decriminalized in Mexico.

And the Texas authorities? Have they put the focus on this organization and what is happening?

They are looking at the whole process of Mexican NGOs helping American or Texan women and other groups that are bringing medicine from India and the Netherlands. And they said, frankly, it’s a new frontier, legally, for anti-abortion groups. They want to go after them in some way for mailing or couriering these drugs. They want them to be held accountable, but I don’t quite know how to do it. One lobbyist I spoke with said they could technically be extradited, but the chance of that happening in a Biden administration is very, very, very slim.