By Griselda Flores and Sofi LaLonde
Angie’s Hurricane Maria Experience
“I remember I couldn’t sleep the whole night and day, whatever it was, I don’t even remember like what time it hit and what time it ended. The whole moment is kind of blurry.”
When Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, Angie Rosa and her family of four hunkered down in their three-bedroom apartment in Puerta de Tierra, an up-and-coming neighborhood of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, that is experiencing first signs of gentrification. Angie reinforced the apartment’s ocean-facing windows with tape while her husband, Richard, moved their art collection onto their bed and covered it with bed sheets and plastic shower curtains.
The family waited out the hurricane in their sons’ shared bedroom – the safest room in the apartment with the smallest windows. The electricity and water went out before the storm even hit. They waited in darkness.
By Sofi LaLonde
A blue state among red states in the Midwest, Illinois is often considered an “oasis” for reproductive health care when it comes to access to abortion. But even with less-restrictive abortion policies, clinics in the state are concentrated in Chicago, leaving gaps in access for women statewide, particularly in southern parts of the state.
For the women who travel from all parts of the Midwest to Chicago for easy abortion access, paying for an abortion can be expensive. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 75 percent of abortion patients in the United States are low-income.
But a Chicago nonprofit aims to make abortions more affordable for those who trek long distances to get one in the city.
Midwest Access Coalition, an entirely volunteer-run organization, helps clients with the costs of traveling to Chicago for an abortion and connects them with volunteers who put them up in their homes. The organization serves both Illinois residents and out-of-state patients traveling to Chicago.
By Sofi LaLonde
Women in southern Illinois are disadvantaged when seeking an abortion, according to data on distances to abortion clinics from the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research and policy group, published in early October.
Residents in Illinois have more access to abortion than in other states in the Midwest region, both in distance to clinics and when factoring in state laws, the institute found. However, residents of counties in southern Illinois are farther away from abortion clinics, which can increase the financial burden placed on women seeking abortions.