The Centers for Disease Control confirmed on Friday that it knows of nearly 300 pregnant women in the U.S. who are infected with the Zika virus.
The announcement has serious implications for unborn babies. The virus has been linked to birth defects in newborns, one being microcephaly. The brain disorder is not typically fatal, but it can cause health problems throughout the child’s life. Abortion advocates have been using the virus scare as an excuse to push for more abortions on babies with disabilities.
Politico reports the CDC identified 157 pregnant women in the continental U.S. and 122 in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories who have Zika. Two already chose to abort their unborn babies because they possibly had microcephaly, the CDC reported in February.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, a former Republican presidential contender, took the news as a sign that more needs to be done to help unborn babies and their mothers.
“I hope this will be the wake-up call to Congress that finally prompts it to get serious and fully deal with the Zika virus,” Rubio said in a statement. “Knowing that there are at least 279 pregnant women in the U.S. with likely Zika virus infections means we also have at least 279 unborn children at risk of microcephaly, and we should be doing all we can to save these human beings.”
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Here is more from Politico:
The figure, based on tests of women with symptoms of the disease, probably underestimates the total number, the agency said.
All of the U.S. infections occurred in women who had traveled abroad or, in rare cases, contracted the virus by infected sexual partners who returned from areas where the Zika is prevalent. In Puerto Rico, the virus is being transmitted by mosquitoes.
The CDC is tracking the outcomes of these pregnancies, but reported no data today. At least one infected woman in Puerto Rico miscarried and another in Washington, D.C., had an abortion after imaging revealed the fetus had a misshapen head and brain.
Congress currently is debating funding bills that would provide aid for Zika prevention and research for a vaccine. The U.S. House passed a funding bill Wednesday; however a group of Democrats opposed the bill because it did not promote or fund abortions, LifeNews reported.
One of the most disturbing aspects of this new abortion push is that Zika and microcephaly are difficult to diagnose. Health authorities say people who are infected with Zika 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.
This means women who have or think they have Zika could be pressured to have early abortions without knowing whether their baby really has the disorder, or if the moms wait until they are more certain of their baby’s diagnosis, they could be pressured to have a dangerous, late-term abortion. Women could very likely be aborting healthy unborn babies and putting their own lives at risk.
No matter whether an unborn baby is healthy or sick, the baby deserves a right to life. The fact that abortion activists believe people with disabilities like microcephaly should be targeted for abortion is concerning to many disability rights advocates, even some who support abortion.
At least one U.S. mom has said yes to having her baby, despite being infected with Zika, LifeNews reported last week. Connecticut teen Sara Mujica believes her unborn baby’s life is a miracle.
It is unknown at this time whether Mujica’s unborn baby has any health problems, but the young mother said she plans to give her baby life, no matter what happens. When Mujica was 15, she had meningitis, and doctors told her that she would never be able to get pregnant, she said.
“… so this is a big miracle for me,” she said of her unborn child.
For a moment, the teen said she did consider abortion.
“I mean it’s a hard choice, I don’t know exactly how I’m going to bring up a child with a disability,” she said. “But I am Catholic and I believe that I must raise the child that God gave me.”
Families who have experiences with microcephaly also 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. “… 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.”