Voluntary interruption of pregnancy and sexual and reproductive health in migrant women in Barranquilla

Quintero et al.


Identify knowledge about and barriers to effective access to voluntary interruption of pregnancy (VIP), and to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in general, among women from Venezuela (Venezuelan migrants and Colombian returnees).


Qualitative study of 20 semi-structured interviews with women from Venezuela who are residents of Barranquilla and who carry out leadership activities in communities or who participate in or benefit from those activities. The interviews included opinions and experiences related to access to VIP, and to SRH in general, as well as suggestions for improving access for migrant women. The relationship between access to these services and the migration process was explored, as well as the role of social organizations.


A lack of information on SRH-related rights was identified as the main access barrier to VIP. Other identified barriers were: attitude towards VIP, excessive steps involved in accessing medical care, difficulties in admission to the social security system, lack of training and care in SRH, and xenophobia in hospitals. The interviewees said they did not understand the legal framework in Colombia and did not know the channels for safe abortion care.


Despite the efforts of institutions and international cooperation, Venezuelan migrant women in Barranquilla are in a situation of vulnerability due to their lack of access to sexual and reproductive health, including voluntary interruption of pregnancy. Implementing strategies for comprehensive care for migrants will improve current health conditions and the effective enjoyment of SRH-related rights.

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