Recently we were talking with our friend the doctor about the success Mexico has had reducing its birthrate from something like 7 or 8 children per woman during her childbearing years to slightly over 2 children per woman in her childbearing years. He said indeed attitudes towards birth control have changed dramatically with each new generation and that now, with this generation of child-bearing women, birth control has become almost universally accepted with a few exceptions. Jim asked if perhaps people in rural areas were resistant. Our friend said no, acceptance was high in most rural areas. I´ve mentioned before that sex ed materials in the public schools are direct and very informative. There are, however, a couple of states, notably Guanajuato, where resistance remains high to anything deviating from the teachings of the Church.
I think before I mentioned that in our local pharmacies, educational promotional materials from (of course) drug companies were prominently placed. Now there is prominently placed
information on the "day after" pill. I asked the pharmacist if you needed a prescription for birth control pills of this sort, or just regular birth control pills. She looked at me as if I was nuts. "Why would you need a prescription," she asked.
Here are the first three pages of the little brochure on the day after pill, with some translation (by me).
THIS page says, Okay, you know a lot about sex...Do you know about contraception? PILDORA for the next day.
I like the graphic. Very interesting
In contraception there are man options.....eve for the emergencies such as the day after pill ....Ask your doctor.
What contraceptive methods exist?
The contraceptives can be divided into temporary and permanent depending on whether you want to have children in the future or whether not to have them is a permanent decision.....
The brochure, which as I said, is available on the counters of local drugstores and repeats information available in schools.
Abortion is a different issue. Abortion is legal in Mexico City. I am not sure about other states. Here people are not violent when the issue is brought up, but seem reluctant to pursue it when a woman gets pregnant, although clearly some do. One does not hear about backroom abortions. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that obgyn's perform them, but do not publicize them. In our colonia there has been a rash of young "marriages" recently due to pregnance. I put "marriages" in quotes because civil and church weddings are very expensive so people often set up households and consider themselves married without official blessings. Families accept these.
In my next blog, I will give you a rather opposite example from the state of Guanajuato which I've mentioned before and which seems to pride itself on being the most conservative state in Mexico. As Carlos Fuentes pointed out in "Buenas Conciencias", conservative religion does not appear to have much to do with holiness, more to do with power and getting along with the society.