A scientific researcher who has been studying the Zika virus and its possible link to brain abnormalities in babies says legalized abortion hindered his research.
The mosquito-borne virus, a growing concern in South America, is believed to be linked to 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.
The World Health Organization reports that the relationship between the virus and microcephaly has not been confirmed yet but is highly suspected. Several South American countries report that the number of babies born with the disorder has been increasing astronomically with the spread of the virus. “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.
Though abortion activists are using the crisis to push for legalized abortion in many pro-life South American countries, virologist Gubito Soares said legalized abortion in one country may have hindered scientists from finding a link between the virus and microcephaly.
Virologist Gubio Soares, who first identified the presence of the pervasive Zika virus in Brazil, suggested that legalized abortion in French Polynesia may have prevented scientists from uncovering a link between Zika and severe infant deformities sooner.
During a lecture, Soares claimed scientists do not know for sure if a link exists between Zika and microcephaly. This is mainly because women in places where Zika breeds often aborted children who showed signs of microcephaly, a disorder now linked to the virus. Microcephaly occurs if the brain does not form properly in pregnancy or stops growing after birth. Children can suffer from seizures, developmental delays, intellectual disability, and feeding problems.
“It is necessary to review the number of abortions in French Polynesia,” he stressed.
As South American countries work to curb the spread of the virus, some are advising women to refrain from getting pregnant, while abortion activists are calling for legalized abortion.
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“This is a huge opportunity for the anti-abortion law to be reformed,” said Paula Ávila-Guillen, Latin America specialist at the pro-abortion New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.
Ávila-Guillen told BuzzFeed that the governments are placing a burden on women by asking them to wait to get pregnant but not allowing them to abort if they do.
“The question now is, will these women also be persecuted?” Ávila-Guillen said of women infected with Zika who have illegal abortions.
Beatriz Galli, a Brazil-based policy adviser for the pro-abortion group Ipas, “suspects individual women infected with Zika may try petitioning judges to allow abortions. Brazilian judges have on rare occasions granted abortions to women whose fetuses were in danger of severe birth defects, and one judge has expressed sympathy for Zika-infected women carrying babies with microcephaly.”
LifeNews reported that the abortion group Women on Waves also is pressuring women in South America who may be infected with the Zika virus to abort their unborn babies with dangerous, mail-order abortion drugs.