If abortion activists can find a way to blame pro-lifers for a crisis, they certainly will. This time, they are accusing pro-lifers of clearing the way for a Zika virus epidemic in the U.S.
The virus has become a serious problem in South and Central America, primarily because it has been linked to birth defects in babies. Abortion activists have been pushing pro-life South American countries to legalize abortion of disabled babies as a result.
As the virus spreads, abortion activists also are using the virus scare to vilify pro-lifers in the U.S. The pro-abortion website Slate published a column this week blaming Republicans’ “war on abortion” for opening the doors to a potential “Zika disaster” in North America.
Writer Nora Caplan-Bricker argued that state legislation that closed abortion facilities is to blame because it will leave poor, pregnant women with Zika with no where else to turn. She cited a new report indicating that Florida and Texas are most likely to have problems with the virus. Both states passed legislation recently to defund Planned Parenthood, require that abortion facilities meet basic health and safety standards, and other abortion-related measures.
Abortion clinics have closed as a result, and Caplan-Bricker argued that this could create a Zika epidemic. She wrote:
For uninsured, low-income women, family planning clinics have long been the best places to seek out contraceptives, prenatal exams, and other forms of reproductive healthcare at manageable prices. But many of these facilities also provide abortions—or, as in the case of some Planned Parenthoods, are affiliated with others that do—and as state-level Republicans have accelerated their war on abortion, hundreds of clinics have been forced to scale back operations or close altogether.
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… Years of cuts to women’s healthcare may come back to haunt southern Republicans this mosquito season—especially since, as [Kaiser Health News] points out, the poorest women are at the highest risk for contracting Zika. The women most likely to rely on clinics for their birth control and prenatal care “might live in housing that lacks air-conditioning, or that allows easy mosquito entry,” KHN reports. “Or they may not have the money for repellent or preventive clothing.”
As states have shredded their safety nets for reproductive healthcare, many women have simply stopped seeing OB-GYNs. “It is a daily occurrence that someone who has lived in this state her entire pregnancy presents for delivery having not interfaced with the public health system,” Curry, the University of Miami professor, told KHN. If Zika reaches the U.S., prenatal visits will become “huge opportunities for preventive care” that many women will miss out on altogether.
What she failed to mention is that the taxpayer funds that used to go to these abortion clinics now go to community health centers that offer comprehensive health care to women and their families.
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 in May; however a group of Democrats opposed the bill because it did not promote or fund abortions, LifeNews reported. Slate, however, blamed Republicans for holding up the funding.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control reported nearly 300 cases of pregnant women in the U.S. who have Zika. 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.
At least one U.S. mom said yes to having her baby, despite being infected with Zika, LifeNews reported. Connecticut teen Sara Mujica called her unborn baby’s life a miracle because doctors said she would never get pregnant.
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. A young Brazilian journalist who was born with microcephaly also has been speaking out for unborn babies who may have the disorder.
The fact that abortion activists are exploiting the Zika crisis to target people with disabilities is concerning to many disability rights advocates, even some who support abortion.