Activists Claim Pro-Life People are Pro Zika Virus Because They Oppose Aborting Disabled Babies

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 20, 2016   |   11:27AM   |   Washington, DC

Abortion activists in South America are slinging mud at pro-lifers who are working to end discrimination against unborn babies in the womb.

A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in April confirmed that the Zika virus is causing birth defects in babies all across the continent. As the virus spreads across South and Central America and into North America, abortion activists have been encouraging women to abort their unborn babies because of potential birth defects.

Many link the mosquito-borne virus 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. As the virus spreads, several South American countries have reported an alarming spike in the number of babies born with microcephaly in the past year.

Abortion activists have been exploiting the crisis, causing fears among pregnant women and calling for legalized abortion in South America, where abortion is widely prohibited. In an eugenic push to eliminate “imperfect” unborn babies, abortion activists are encouraging pregnant women to have abortions even if they aren’t sure if their baby has microcephaly.

The pro-abortion group Women on Web even is adverting free, mail-order abortion drugs to women in South America. But the chemical abortion drug that the group is offering is for first-trimester abortions only – meaning that women taking the drug would have no way of knowing at that stage if their unborn baby had the disorder. Microcephaly often is not diagnosed until women are 20 weeks pregnant or later.

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Abortion activists have been using the health crisis to attack pro-lifers and unborn babies on multiple fronts, claiming pro-lifers are “pro-Zika.” In countries where abortion is illegal, pro-abortion groups are lobbying for new laws. And in Colombia, one of the few South American countries where abortion is legal, abortion activists are blaming pro-lifers for simply trying to provide women with information about risks and alternatives to abortion.

A biased report in Foreign Policy blames pro-lifers for trying to curb the eugenic push to kill unborn babies with disabilities in Colombia. The headline of the story reads, “Colombia’s progressive abortion laws can stop the spread of Zika-linked microcephaly. But the conservative opposition has other plans.”

According to the report:

[T]hanks to a byzantine bureaucracy, judicial delay, conservative opposition, and many doctors’ refusing to perform abortions or offer referrals, Colombian women in need of pregnancy termination have been prevented from understanding their legal options. As a result, many — due either to misinformation or fear of religious shaming — seek clandestine abortions. Such procedures, conducted at illegal clinics, constitute the vast majority of abortions in Colombia. “There are still many women who don’t know that there is no time limit to perform an abortion in Colombia,” said Marta Royo, executive director of the privately run Profamilia, Colombia’s largest family planning organization. “Even many public employees have no idea. There is a lack of information.”

Abortion activists in Colombia specifically mentioned the U.S.-based 40 Days for Life Campaign as “one of the biggest threats to the public’s right to information about abortion.” The international pro-life campaign encourages peaceful, prayerful outreach outside of abortion centers and a caring, compassionate approach toward women considering abortion.

But even informing women of the risks and alternatives to abortion is too much for one pro-abortion group in South America. Profamilia bashed the 40 Days volunteers for approaching women with information. According to the report:

In February, Profamilia’s Medellin branch recorded three incidents where employees or prospective clients were confronted by 40 Days for Life protesters. Carlos Mesa, regional manager of Profamila for Antioquia and Santander, recounted one case involving a father who was entering the clinic with his 12-year-old daughter. Members of the movement allegedly attempted to dissuade her from asking for an abortion. His daughter eventually went through with the procedure. The case could be used to prove that such protesters are obstructing women’s rights to lawful abortions, with much greater implications during this time of outbreak.

Pro-lifers are not alone in their efforts to stop the new discriminatory abortion push. Disability rights advocates and people with microcephaly also have become vocal opponents of the abortion lobby.

Brazilian journalist Ana Carolina Caceres has microcephaly. The first few years of her life were difficult for her and her family, partly due to her medical expenses, but today she is a thriving young writer and musician. She recently spoke out against the push to abort babies like her.

“I believe that abortion is a short-sighted attempt to tackle the problem. The most important thing is access to treatment: counseling for parents and older sufferers, and physiotherapy and neurological treatment for those born with microcephaly.”

Caceres said she feels personally “offended and attacked” by abortion activists who are lobbying to abort unborn babies with the same condition. She said families of babies with microcephaly need information and resources, not pressure to abort.

“I certainly know that microcephaly can have more serious consequences than the ones I experienced and I am aware that not everyone with microcephaly will be lucky enough to have a life like mine,” she said. “But what I recommend to mothers or pregnant women is that they remain calm. Microcephaly is an ugly name but it’s not an evil monster. …

“I survived, as do many others with microcephaly. Our mothers did not abort. That is why we exist.”