Visiting Guanajuato to Meet Las Libres

During our reporting trip in Jalisco, we spent a day traveling to the neighboring state of Guanajuato to visit with a collective of women called Las Libres. We left early in the morning and wound through the altos of Jalisco until we reached the small colonial city of Guanajuato. It was up in the mountains, and as we waited for Verónica Ruiz, one of the members of Las Libres, to meet us, we sat down for a quick cup of coffee and small plates of tortas and quesadillas. Verónica soon arrived, and led us even higher into the mountains to their headquarters: a beautiful white house overlooking the city. She explained that they saved money for years to buy the house, so there would always be a safe place for women to meet them and seek help. For well over a decade, Las Libres has been helping women access abortions, despite restrictive state laws, by providing information about Misoprostol: a widely accessible pill that induces medical abortions. Despite the fact that Guanajuato is one of the most conservative states in Mexico and has some of the most restrictive laws against abortion, Las Libres has helped thousands of women access the information they need to exercise autonomy over their bodies and their lives. They have also helped women create similar autonomous collectives across Mexico and all of Latin America.

—Laura Gottesdiener and Amy Littlefield, Mexico 2018