Abortion activists are stirring up fears among pregnant women in South America who worry that the Zika virus outbreak may cause their babies to be born with disabilities.
Abortion activists have been quick to exploit the Zika health crisis because of a possible link between the virus and microcephaly, a neurological disorder where a baby’s head is significantly smaller and the brain is abnormally developed, according to the Mayo Clinic. Several South American countries have reported an alarming spike in the number of babies born with microcephaly in the past few months. The disorder is not typically fatal, but it can cause health problems throughout the child’s life.
In an eugenic-like push, abortion activists argue that South American countries should legalize abortion so that women infected with the virus can abort unborn babies who may have the disorder.
The pro-abortion group Women on Web, which advertises free, mail-order abortion drugs to women in South America, reported receiving a growing number of requests for abortion related to Zika fears.
Founder Rebecca Gomperts told the Washington Post that her group has received triple the number of requests for abortion drugs from women in Brazil in the past three months.
“When Zika hit the news we saw an [immediate] increase in the number of requests from countries that are affected by Zika,” Gomperts said. “We think that is related to the Zika outbreak. We cannot explain it any other way.
“Probably a lot of women are looking for abortion services now. Women that are pregnant and suspect that they have had Zika and they just don’t want to take the risks of having a microcephalic baby,” she said. “Our worry is that these women will turn to unsafe abortion methods, while we can help them with a safe, medical abortion.”
The problem is that medical abortions are not safe, even less so when taken without medical supervision, as Gomperts’ group is promoting.
Chemical abortions can be deadly to the woman as well as her unborn child. Without a doctor’s visit or medical supervision (neither of which Gomperts’ group appears to be providing), more lives could be in jeopardy. Although Women on Web says the abortion pill is safe, evidence from the United States indicates that’s not the case. In America, where emergency medical care often is readily available, the Food and Drug Administration documented at least 14 women’s deaths and 2,207 injuries from abortion drugs in the past 12 years, LifeNews previously reported.
And though the group says it offers the deadly drug to women who are fewer than nine weeks pregnant, it seems highly unlikely that it is being used only in this short time-span. Due to the shipping time (one to five weeks) plus the fact that women often do not know they are pregnant until several weeks into the pregnancy, women could be taking the drug much later in their pregnancies. The FDA recommends the chemical abortion drug RU-486 be taken only up to the first nine weeks of pregnancy.
Fortunately, Brazil customs officials have been catching and destroying many of the dangerous pills before they reach the women, according to the report.
Another problem is that Zika is difficult to diagnose. Health authorities say people who are infected do not necessarily show symptoms of the virus; and when they do, their symptoms can look like other illnesses. Similarly, conditions like microcephaly often are not diagnosed until women are 20 weeks pregnant or later.
By offering abortions up to nine weeks, Gomperts’ group fails to mention that there is very little way of knowing at that point if the unborn baby or mother really are infected. Women could very likely be aborting healthy unborn babies and putting their own lives at risk. It also should be noted that no matter whether an unborn baby is healthy or sick, the baby deserves a right to life.
The situation also points to the fact that these abortion activists believe people with disabilities like microcephaly should be targeted for abortion – an idea that concerns many disability rights advocates, even some who support abortion.
There also is growing uncertainty about whether the virus and the microcephaly cases are connected. Thomas D. Williams recently wrote, “Though the Brazil Ministry of Health has registered an unusually high number of babies born with microcephaly, 96% of these cases occurred without the mothers having been infected with the Zika virus at all, which means that the cause must be sought elsewhere.”
Gomperts gave the newspaper a selection of emails that her group received from desperate women in South America who worry that their unborn babies could be born with microcephaly. Many of the women’s emails are written in broken English with words of fear and desperation.
Families who have experiences with microcephaly are countering abortion activists’ fear mongering, saying that women should be offered education about the condition and support – not abortion.
Kansas mother Gwen Hartley, who has two daughters with microcephaly, said she initially struggled when she learned about her daughters’ diagnosis, but today she believes they are a huge blessing to her family.
She encouraged mothers in South America not to throw away their unborn babies’ lives because they are afraid.
“In the beginning, I was crushed,” Hartley said. “I’m sure these moms in Brazil are feeling that way. But if you open your mind enough, you realize your whole life is in preparation for this moment, and this moment will make you better. I don’t think I would have hung out with the me before [my daughter] Claire. I was so shallow. All I cared about was that I have this awesome husband, this awesome house, and an awesome kid. Now, I am so glad I’m not that Gwen, because I took so much for granted. I’m glad the girls forced me to see the blessings I already had.”