Yorlenis Gutierrez, a 28-year-old mother, spent months vainly scouring pharmacies for a drug whose scarcity is complicating her sex life and that of countless Venezuelans. In a country beset by shortages, this is one of the hardest: the disappearance of contraceptives.It's WaPo, so no mention of socialism, Hugo Chávez or Nicolás Maduro. Oil prices collapsed everywhere, but only Venezuela suffered a catastrophic collapse. Why won't someone import birth control pills and make money? Socialism.
When she couldn’t renew her supply of birth control pills, Gutierrez and her husband made a choice. Long-term abstinence was not an option, they agreed.
They tried to be careful, but soon she was pregnant with her second child.
“We barely eat three times a day now,” said a distraught Gutierrez, a former hair washer in a beauty salon who lost her job because of the economic crisis. “I don’t know how we’re going to feed another mouth.”
In Venezuela, a collapse in oil prices coupled with nearly two decades of socialist policies has sparked a severe recession and one of the world’s highest inflation rates. People often wait hours in line to buy bread. Prices for staples jump almost by the day. Medical shortages range from antibiotics to cancer drugs.
But the shortage of contraceptives has put Venezuelans in a particularly bleak quandary: Have sex — or don’t ?Well, sadly, you, or at least enough of your countrypeople, voted for it. At least once. You know what they say: "One man, one vote, once."
For the most part they are, sometimes with dire consequences.
There are no recent official statistics. But Venezuelan doctors are reporting spikes in the numbers of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases that are adding to the country’s deepening misery.