This story was originally published by The 19th and is republished with permission.
Extreme heat has already made pregnancy more dangerous. Now, it is also complicating efforts to control when and how someone becomes pregnant: Record heat waves across the country could threaten access to effective pregnancy tests, condoms, and emergency contraception pills.
All of these items can sustain serious damage in extreme heat, rendering them ineffective when used. And all have become critical resources for people living in states with abortion bans and who are trying to avoid pregnancy. In those states, few options exist to terminate an unintended pregnancy other than acquiring abortion pills online or traveling out of state for care.
Many states that have banned abortion are experiencing broiling summers, including Texas, Louisiana, parts of Mississippi, and Arkansas. Florida — where abortion is banned after 15 weeks of pregnancy and a six-week ban could take effect later this year — has also recorded unusually high te... Read more