AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's Note: Quotes are translated from Spanish.
From her home in Mexico, Sandra Cardona Alanís is helping women carry out abortions in their own homes.
“We are not second-class citizens and no one has a reason to take away our right to decide about our bodies,” said Cardona Alanís.
Cardona Alanís started the volunteer network Necesito Abortar with her co-founder six years ago, connecting women in Mexico with abortion medication online and over the phone.
This is personal for Cardona Alanís because she knows how these women are feeling.
"My abortion was due to rape, because of a beating that my ex-partner gave me,” she said. “So, I don't want any woman, for whatever reason, to be unable to have an abortion."
The group had always focused on serving Mexican women, but on the day Roe v. Wade was overturned, they received an influx of social media messages from women in the U.S.
"That day the ruling was given, we received more than 70 messages. The women panicked; they were afraid. Seventy messages on Facebook,” she said. “There was no shortage from those on Instagram, those on Twitter, those who spoke on the phone."
She said many of the women weren't actually pregnant, but wanted the medication, just in case. Some were scared to even say the word "abortion," because of state abortion laws in the U.S.
"They don't mention the word 'abortion,'” she said. “They don't mention ‘I want to terminate my pregnancy.’ They are very afraid.”
So many Americans are calling Necesito Abortar now that she created two new positions to focus solely on helping American women. In total, the volunteer organization is made up of 20 people.
“The phone calls started, people talking in English and we don't know how to speak English,” she shared about when calls from women in the U.S. started coming in. “They were writing in, very scared, very desperate.”
Many of the women messaging and calling are from right here in Texas.
“A lot, a lot,” she said of Texan women asking for assistance. “We have sent them the medication, others have come. The ones that can come, do. Others have sent someone, or they have family here,” she said.
She said the medications from Necesito Abortar are cleared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as safe for use at home. The medications they use are mifepristone and misoprostol, which are also cleared as safe to use at home by the FDA up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy. While she knows it’s illegal to mail abortion pills to Texas, she believes other laws protect her.
"That's right,” she said. “There is such a law, but there is also a law that protects people's privacy and they can't be checking the mail.”
In some Mexican states, women can access certain abortion pills without a prescription.
“It is sold in a pharmacy.” She said. “In fact, there are women who cross the border and buy it in Mexican pharmacies. So simple.”
Simple for those who can get there. For those who can’t, she said Necesito Abortar is there to help them access abortion care.
"I think that no woman should be left without her rights, and that is a right,” she said.
Watch the full interview with Sandra Cardona Alanís here:
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