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Our programme in Mexico began its work in 1999 in the Chiapas region, with one centre delivering family planning services. At the time the region was an area of political unrest, with a large population of internally displaced people.
Ever since the opening of our first centre we have focused on increasing contraception prevalence rates and improving access to family planning information and services. Marie Stopes Mexico is working hard to reduce the relatively high prevalence of teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortion and maternal deaths across the region, and to offer high quality, affordable and client-centred services to more Mexicans every year.
Mexico has a federal system in which abortion law is determined at state level; currently Mexico City is the only state that has decriminalised abortion by choice up to 12 weeks. One year after the decriminalisation of abortion in 2007 in Mexico City, Marie Stopes Mexico arrived in the capital to provide family planning services and safe abortion to women.
A midwife network has been implemented in the southwest region of the country involving more than 220 community health providers delivering services.
One challenge in Mexico is a lack of sex education and limited access to information on sexual and reproductive health among the youth population, due to a continuing taboo and stigma surrounding sexuality in the country. This has contributed to more than 11,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 giving birth every year. Unsafe abortion remains the third leading cause of maternal mortality, particularly among young women aged 15 to 19.
Since 2003, Marie Stopes Mexico has implemented youth programs to educate about sexual health and empower young people to prevent unplanned pregnancies. In addition to lectures, workshops and various activities with young people, this series of programs have included training for teachers of educational institutions, medical personnel and psychologists.
Every year, Marie Stopes Mexico succeeds in reaching more than 100,000 young people across the country, through education programmes and campaigns focused on Mexico's youth.
Mexico has one of the highest rate of teenage pregnancy among the OECD countries.