Getting access to reliable information about contraception, let alone abortion can be tricky for teenagers in the United States, but it can be nearly impossible for young people in Mexico. That’s where the gaming community comes in.
In an innovative new game created by Ipas Mexico, characters explore options for an unwanted pregnancy. “When prevention fails: How to terminate a pregnancy with drugs” is available only in Spanish and gives users the story of Claudia and Pedro, a young couple struggling with an unwanted pregnancy. Through Claudia and Pedro’s story, users are asked questions that lead to pregnancy options including the use of misoprostol for abortion.
The game begins from the starting point of a missed period and takes players through an educational journey to help decide whether the pregnancy should be continued or not and, in the case of termination, whether medical abortion is the right choice for termination. As users answer questions, they are met with additional questions and led through various scenarios depending on their decisions along the way.
First, the game helps women identify their stage of pregnancy to help determine the options available to them. If they are nine weeks pregnant or less, then they are able to choose between options including medical abortion and other pregnancy termination options.
First-trimester abortions have been legal in Mexico City only since 2007 and remain highly restricted, if not de-facto criminalized, in the country’s rural states. Given geographic isolation, medical abortion is often the safest and most affordable option for women in terminating an unwanted pregnancy. According to Ipas Mexico, Misoprostol is widely available in pharmacies across Mexico, but many pharmacy workers lack knowledge of the correct dosing regimens and don’t have the time or skills to advise women on how to use the drug correctly. The game tries to bridge this information gulf because without a source of reliable information, women are in danger of buying the wrong pills, taking the wrong dose, or not knowing when to seek medical assistance or follow-up care. If a woman chooses the medical abortion option in the game, she is then provided accurate dosage information and instructions on how to use misoprostol.
“We believe that youth are best positioned to know what decisions are right for them, and that young people’s perspectives, strategies and innovations offer tremendous opportunities to advance Ipas’s work,” says Leila Hessini, Ipas director of community access and youth. “We want to see a world where all young people’s sexual and reproductive rights are upheld, and this requires us to address the misconceptions that young people are not sexually active and that they should not have a voice on the issues that affect them most.”
Providing easy to use, judgment-free reproductive health information? Finally, there’s an app for that!
Photo from Deqeulla manera via flickr.