Abortions — legal or otherwise — may be increasing in Latin American countries where the Zika virus is spreading, new research suggests.

The data, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, provide an early glimpse of a hard-to-track phenomenon that may be altering the way this unprecedented Zika outbreak is recorded in the annals of medical history.

Requests for abortion-inducing drugs shot up in some Zika-affected countries after the alarm was raised about Zika infection in pregnancy, according to researchers who analyzed traffic to the website of an international nonprofit organization that provides the drugs early in pregnancy. The requests rose by between 36 and 108 percent. Abortion restrictions are widespread across Central and South America.

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