December 2007

La introduccion de la anticoncepcion de emergencia en la norma oficial mexicana de planificacion familiar

Lara D, van Dijk M, Garcia S, Grossman D. La introduccion de la anticoncepcion de emergencia en la norma oficial mexicana de planificacion familiar (The introduction of emergency contraception into the official Mexican family planning norms). Gaceta Medica de Mexico. December 2007; 143( 6): 483-487. (Spanish)

OBJECTIVES: Understand the process of including Emergency Contraception (EC) in the Mexican Family Planning Norm (NOM) and identify factors that influenced this achievement.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted in-depth interviews with eight prominent decision-makers of state and federal government institutions.

RESULTS: The determining factor for the inclusion of EC in the NOM was the external review of scientific evidence, done by experts from the National Centre for Equity of Gender and Reproductive Health, proving that EC pills are not abortifacients. Other important factors that contributed to the inclusion were the ample support of civil organizations, the population’s demand and the Minister of Health’s support of EC. The inclusion of EC in the essential drug list was perceived as a logical next step after its inclusion in the NOM.

CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of EC in Mexico highlights the importance of scientific evidence for decision-making. The process took about a decade, which reflects the complexity of converting research results into public policies. Measures should be taken to speed the processes that benefit women and society as a whole