Clinics in hurricane-affected areas are encouraging women to back up their birth control methods in the event of emergencies. Planned Parenthood clinics across Texas are advocating women to remember to take responsibility for their birth control methods even during times of evacuation and clinic closures.
As hurricanes continue to threaten the Gulf Coast, clinics have started notifying their patients about delays in services and the impact this will have on patient health care. Women seeking birth control are advised to use condoms and are reminded about the availability of emergency contraception. If women have scheduled an abortion during a closure, providers will discuss any changes needed for the patients’ treatment.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas (PPHST) reached out to shelters with free emergency contraception, condoms, and birth control for evacuees and is prepared to do so again if necessary. In a press release following the aftermath of Katrina, PPHST vice-president Rochelle Lafolla said “In emergency weather situations the focus is on protecting yourself, your loved ones and your home. Many times, essential medication is left behind in the bathroom cabinet.”