Abortions After the Storm

Two years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the territory has seen a major decline in abortions—possibly a consequence of a family planning care system left in tatters long after the storm.

Right after Maria, just 1 of the main island’s 6 abortion clinics remained open—and it was understaffed and overwhelmed. Unpassable roads made clinics harder to get to; lost jobs made abortions unaffordable; closed pharmacies made it impossible to refill contraception or get Plan B. And with normal routines at a standstill, Puerto Ricans were likely having more sex, too.

Research has shown that natural disasters are often followed by increased birth rates.


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