Puerto Rico doesn’t restrict abortion. So why is it a struggle for locals to get one?
By Andrea González-Ramírez
December 12, 2022
It was raining despite the sun — the type of weather Boricuas make superstitious jokes about — on a recent Tuesday at Women’s Medical Pavilion, an abortion clinic in Puerto Rico. The eight patients seated around me in the waiting room looked at their phones in silence as a midday entertainment program played on a small TV. Nurses called them to the front desk one by one, referring to them as “mi amor” and “corazón” as they gave an overview of the 15-minute procedure. An abortion seeker seated to my right took a call and told the person on the other end of the line that she was hungry — it was nearly 1 p.m. — because the clinic had instructed her to not eat anything two hours before her visit. Plus, she said, she couldn’t afford to spend money on a meal — not even from the fast-food joint across the street from the clinic’s pink entrance.