From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: A friend in Boston
Nominee: Eugenia Lopez Uribe, Mexican activist and coordinator of the MARIA Abortion Fund for Social Justice
I had the incredible pleasure of meeting Eugenia last November in Boston. She was touring the United States speaking about the MARIA Abortion Fund and social justice issues in Mexico. I was totally blown away by her knowledge and dedication.
Eugenia helps women access safe, legal abortion and defends the right to abortion in Mexico. This is no small task. Abortion throughout Mexico has been restricted to cases or rape, life or health of the woman, or fetal malformations. Even when women “fit” within these restrictions, it’s impossible to find safe abortion care because most states do not have protocols to provide it. Finally in 2007, Mexico City became the exception and decriminalized abortion up to 12 weeks.
Yet, abortion continues to be a matter of social justice in most Mexican states. Upper class women can pay private providers or travel to Mexico City or leave the country. However, poor women continue to risk their health and lives by seeking back-alley abortions. This is why the work Eugenia does is so important. The MARIA Abortion Fund for Social Justice helps these women.
Eugenia works directly with women who don’t have the resources to access legal abortion services available in Mexico City. She and her fellow MARIA Fund members transport women to, from and within Mexico City, provide housing, help schedule the appointment, pay for part or all of the abortion procedure, accompany the women when they request it, and offer informative materials and counseling. By providing these services, Eugenia and her fellow volunteers are changing Mexico by saving lives. She is truly amazing.