I was vaguely aware that abortion is very common in Cuba. But until a friend forwarded me a story from the New York Times, I had no idea that abortion is rampant.
The narrative arc is build around an unmarried couple that has (as the headline suggests) “An abundance of love” but no kids. And that’s because they’ve already aborted two.
The story, written by Azam Ahmed, strongly suggests she would abort future pregnancies–a reflection of many factors, including
Abortion is legal, free and commonly practiced. There is no stigma attached to the procedure, helping to make Cuba’s reported abortion rates among the highest in the world. In many respects, abortion is viewed as another manner of birth control.
Tragically, abortion appears to be woven into the culture. Women in Cuba, Ahmed writes,
speak openly about abortions, and lines at clinics often wrap around the building.
By the numbers, the country exhibits a rate of nearly 30 abortions for every 1,000 women of childbearing age, according to 2010 data compiled by the United Nations. Among countries that permit abortion, only Russia had a higher rate. In the United States, 2011 figures show a rate of about 17.
The epidemic of abortion is not new. The couple tell Ahmed that their mothers each had four abortions. The man, “smirking,” says the woman’s aunt had “undergone 10 procedures.”
As you would expect, Cuba is in a demographic free fall…