Venezuelan Social Mood Hitting Bottom

Fertility is correlated with social mood, with a 9-month lag.

Venezuelan women seek sterilizations as crisis sours child-rearing
Venezuela's food shortages, inflation and crumbling medical sector have become such a source of anguish that a growing number of young women are reluctantly opting for sterilizations rather than face the hardship of pregnancy and child-rearing.

Traditional contraceptives like condoms or birth control pills have virtually vanished from store shelves, pushing women toward the hard-to-reverse surgery.

"Having a child now means making him suffer," said Milagros Martinez, waiting on a park bench on a recent morning ahead of her sterilization at a nearby Caracas municipal health center.

..."Before, when you got pregnant, everyone was happy," said mother-of-two Yessy Ascanio, 38, as she sat on a bed in a side room. "Now when a woman says 'I'm pregnant', everyone scolds you. It makes me sad for young women."

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