A Baptist Church group in Brazil said it will consider supporting a growing push to legalize abortion for disabled babies in the South American country.
Joel Zeferino, president of the Alliance of Baptists of Brazil, said his church is open to the idea of allowing abortions for women with the Zika virus, according to Premier.
With the spread of the virus, some countries have noticed a huge increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly, a neurological disorder where a baby’s head is significantly smaller and the brain is abnormally developed, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition is not typically fatal, but it can cause health problems throughout the baby’s life.
“Between October 2015 and January this year medics in [Brazil] have registered almost 4,000 cases of microcephaly in newborns, compared to 163 in a normal year,” according to The Pool.
Because of a possible link between the Zika virus and microcephaly, some South American countries are advising women to avoid getting pregnant until the virus is under control. But abortion activists are targeting babies with disabilities instead, pushing women infected with Zika to abort even if they don’t know if their baby has the disorder.
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Zeferino said he wants there to be an open discussion about abortion in Brazil, which currently is illegal except in cases of rape and danger to the mother’s life.
“We understand this is an issue that needs to be discussed with a society in a much more open and democratic manner,” Zeferino said. “We need to include in this debate the women who suffer these abortions, the women who live on the outskirts of our cities, the black women, these are the ones who, in fact, resort to illegal abortions.”
However, other religious and pro-life groups have refused to even entertain the idea of targeting disabled babies for abortions because of the Zika outbreak. Last week, Catholic Church officials in South America said they will not back down from their position defending the unborn.
“Nothing justifies an abortion,” said the Rev. Luciano Brito, spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in Brazil. “Just because a fetus has microcephaly won’t make us favorable [to abortion].”
The Anglican Church reportedly is undecided on the issue.
According to the latest report, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met recently with members of the National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil to ask their pastors to spread awareness about Zika from the pulpit.
The World Health Organization also has declared the virus outbreak an international health emergency. No vaccine or cure has been developed yet.
ACTION: Contact the Alliance of Baptists of Brazil and tell them to protect unborn babies from abortion.