Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1821, but Spanish culture still influences family ideals. Motherhood is revered and women have primary responsibility for child rearing, and divorce rates are still low, although many Mexicans have broken with the Catholic Church's positions on marriage, birth control, and family life since the 1960s.

The fertility rate in Mexico dropped rapidly from the 1970s to 1999; contraception is legal and is used by 71 percent of women in union. Most births are attended by skilled personnel and maternal mortality is low. The government provides free prenatal care and delivery to poor women and maternity benefits. The Mexican Declaration on Safe Motherhood was adopted in 1993. More mothers are entering the labor market, and migration for work has strained family ...

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