According to New Scientist, illegal abortions in Latin America continue to rise as the prevalence of the Zika virus increases. Abortion is an illegal procedure in most Latin American countries. “The Huffington Post” reported that political activists in Brazil began protesting the abortion laws in February 2016. On June 22, 2016, Venezuela reported there has been an increase in illegal abortion rates.
Microcephaly is a condition that results when a fetus is exposed to the Zika virus. These babies are born with significantly smaller heads and experience developmental delays. Pregnant women around the world are concerned about contracting the virus, but once they do, they have a serious decision to make related to their health, and the health of their unborn child.
In many parts of the world, late abortions are banned, but in many countries, abortions are illegal. This puts doctors and patients in complicated situations. Doctors in Latin-American communities have found themselves providing pregnant women with the abortion pill after they have contracted the Zika virus, which is against the law. In response to the dramatic increase in the Zika virus, the World Health Organization has declared the virus has created a state of emergency. This declaration can grant political support to nations and aid them in making health decisions for infected pregnant women and their unborn children.
Written by Kristina Lasher
Edited by Cathy Milne
New Scientist: Zika virus prompts increase in unsafe abortions in Latin America
Huffington Post: Zika Virus Prompts Activists To Push For Legal Abortions In Brazil
Image Courtesy of Tania Caruso’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License