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Table 1 Characteristics of the health exception within the abortion laws of Mexico, Britain, and Colombia

From: Access to abortion under the heath exception: a comparative analysis in three countries

Characteristic Country
Britain Colombia Mexico
Health exception law coverage / year Federal (applies to England, Scotland, Wales) / 1967
[34]
Federal / 2006 [35] State / 1990–2016
[36]
Legislative precedence Act of parliament (law reform) Total ban declared unconstitutional under a human rights framework Penal code reform
Language of the law Risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman [34] Risk to the life or health of the woman [22] Severe risk to the health of the woman
Risk of death or severe injury to the health of the woman
[37]
Gestational age limit for the health exception 24 weeks
[34]
None
[35]
None
[37]
Number of doctors required for approval of health exception Two [38] One
[35]
Two
[11]
Consideration of economic or social factors explicitly mentioned or allowed Yes [38] No In States of Michoacán and Yucatán
[39] [47]
Further barriers exist for minors securing an abortion under the health exception No No Yes [40]
Mental health is explicitly mentioned in the health exception law Yes
[34]
No, but stated by the Constitutional Court [9] No
There was widespread dissemination around the law and health exception to health care providers (including provider trainings and other education) ++ [41] + [42]
There was widespread dissemination of the health exception law to the public ++ [43, 44] +/− [22]
Evidence suggests that access is as easy in the public as in the private sector No No No
There are documented cases protecting women or doctors accessing or performing abortions under the health exception Yes [34] Yes [9] Yes [11]
There are documented cases of women not being able to access abortion under the health exception No Yes [9] Yes [11]
There are documented cases of women accessing abortion using the health exception law Yes
[15]
Yes
[45]
Yes
[46]