Zika’s Spread Across The U.S. May Change The Narrative Around Abortion

By now, most Americans are familiar with the Zika virus, the mosquito-spread disease that’s left thousands of babies with shrunken skulls in Latin America. Pictures of screaming infants with tiny heads and fearful women sleeping under mosquito nets have attracted sympathy across social media platforms and concern from members of Congress — but the epidemic remains a distant, foreign battle for many living in the United States.

In many of the Latin American countries where Zika is rapidly spreading, reproductive health care remains out of reach for women at risk of infection. Brazil actually criminalizes women for seeking an abortion due to the fetal brain damage, microcephaly, paired with Zika. For infected women already living in poverty, this leaves them with a tragically unaffordable illness to tend to.

 

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