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Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, was one of the deadliest and costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. The hurricane caused widespread displacement and impeded access to medical care, including reproductive care. Scholars estimate that as many as 56,000 pregnant people and 75,000 infants were directly impacted by Katrina. Natural disasters such as Katrina present unique health concerns to pregnant people, parents, and infants. For example, Katrina disrupted the supply of clean water for drinking and bathing; it obstructed access to food for tens of thousands of people; it exposed whole communities to harmful environmental toxins; and it directly impeded access to time-sensitive reproductive health care, including birth control and abortions. A 2009 study found that following Hurricane Katrina, women from the New Orleans area experienced difficulty accessing birth control, abortion clinics, and prenatal and child care at rates higher than they did pre-disaster.   

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