Photo: Many Latinas Heading into Mexico for Birth Control
With the high cost of birth control in the U.S. many Latinas have begun crossing into Mexico for their contraceptives.
According to the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH)more Latinas are crossing into Mexico and risking their health to do it, with health experts saying the drugs these women buy in Mexico are not always safe.
Dr. Jorge Galdamez recently spoke with NBC San Diego and said that using the wrong form of birth control can increase users’ risk of heart disease and can even cause a stroke. He adds that it is important for women to speak with their doctors before taking any sort of birth control, as interactions with other medication or the woman’s physiology may cause negative and possibly harmful side effects.
Though debates on birth control and immigration are consistently making headlines, the public discourse over the reproductive healthcare of immigrant women is almost nonexistent, so the idea of heading into Mexico for pills or simply buying them on the black market has been the options for some.
Researcher Dan Grossman of the AJPH published a study in 2010 that focused on women purchasing birth control pills along the El Paso border.
He found that U.S.-born women chose to cross into Mexico to access cheaper birth control that same way others buy various prescription drugs abroad for the lower cost.
“In our research, we found that most of the brands that women were getting in Mexican pharmacies in Ciudad Juarez were the same brands available in the U.S. or in Europe. These are reputable drugs.
“The ideal would be that they should be able to see a doctor or a nurse, get screened and be able to access the method they want free of charge. In a context where a woman has no health insurance, where family planning services are very expensive, and this is the only option, it’s a reasonable option and a lesser evil than going without contraception.”