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Women wait for sterilization surgery a hospital in Caracas, Venezuela July 27, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins )


Lack of access to birth control forces Venezuelan women to turn to sterilization

By WITW Staff on September 1, 2016

As regular birth control, such as contraceptive pills or condoms, becomes increasingly hard to access in the economically plagued country of Venezuela, FOX News reports that more and more women are turning to sterilization to avoid getting pregnant. “Who wants to be pregnant right now in Venezuela?” reporter Sonia Schott told Fox News Latino, referring to the economic and political turmoil in the Latin-American country.  “How can you be sure your child will have everything it needs? How do you know when you go to the hospital they’ll even have the proper medicine or equipment?”

While there are no official statistics on the increase, the case of one health clinic in Miranda (near the capital Caracas) illustrates the problem: while the 40 slots it offers during sterilization day barely got filled up until last year, there is now a waiting list of about 500 women. “Before, the conditions for [the sterilization] program were that the women be low-income and have at least four kids,” the clinic’s program director Deliana Torres, the clinic’s program director explained to Reuters. “Now we have women with one or two kids who want to be tied up.”

Other health workers confirmed the disturbing trend. Venezuela has been plagued with inflation, high rates of crime and economic uncertainty since oil prices started dropping in 2015, creating a shortage in all types of medicine, from birth control and common painkillers to cancer and HIV drugs. “The pressure that Venezuelans face every day is tremendous because of all the uncertainty,” Schott said. “Nobody knows what will happen the next day.”

Read the full story at Fox News Latino.


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