Don’t put too much stock into a new study claiming that illegal abortions are skyrocketing as a result of the Zika virus, a prominent pro-life physician said this week.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine this June, claimed that the demand for abortions has increased drastically in South and Central America where the Zika virus is a widespread problem.
The concern surrounding Zika involves a link between the virus and birth defects in newborns. Several countries have seen an alarming uptick in the number of babies born with microcephaly, a brain disorder that is not typically fatal but can cause health problems throughout the child’s life.
Abortion advocates have been using the link between the virus and birth defects as an excuse to push for more abortions on babies with disabilities. In South and Central America, where abortion is widely prohibited, they also have been using the health crisis to push for legalized abortion.
Some health experts are calling out the new study, which was co-authored by a Dutch group that sells illegal abortion pills across the world, as another attempt to push for abortion in pro-life countries.
Dr. Donna Harrison, the Executive Director of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, told TheDC that study’s methodology was extremely flawed.
“This ‘study’ is not really a study,” Harrison said. “It is a propaganda piece for legalizing abortion. It is very telling the NEJM publishes information about illegal activity.”
“The places where Wow [Women on Web] distributes their illegal abortion drugs are countries where abortion is illegal. Thus, WoW is breaking the law of a sovereign nation. Further, there is no verification of anything that WoW reports. This would never pass a peer review, and thus is not science but WoW propaganda written not for knowledge, but rather designed to pressure sovereign nations into legalizing abortion.”
In short, Harrison concluded, “This is political activism, not science.”
A Centers for Disease Control spokeswoman told the news outlet that women who contract the virus later in their pregnancies are not likely to give birth to babies with the disorder.
“The recent study in NEJM showed that among a subset of pregnant women with Zika virus disease, a majority (90 percent) of those infected in the third trimester delivered no infants with apparent birth defects, including microcephaly,” CDC’s Dr. Margaret Honein said. “We still don’t know the level of risk from a Zika infection during pregnancy, meaning if a woman is infected, how often will her fetus have problems.”
Women on Web has been one of the leading groups targeting Latin American women and babies for abortions by selling them dangerous abortion drugs. In the new study, the pro-abortion group said it has seen huge increases in the number of women in Latin American requesting the abortion drugs.
Women on Web appears to be preying on the fears of desperate women and selling them a dangerous product with virtually no medical advice or supervision. Women on Web recommends the abortion drugs be used up to nine weeks of pregnancy, but it fails to mention that there is very little way of knowing at that point if the unborn baby or the mother really are infected with Zika.
The virus is difficult to diagnose because symptoms can look like other illnesses. Similarly, conditions like microcephaly often are not diagnosed until women are 20 weeks pregnant or later. Women who take the abortion drugs could very likely be aborting healthy unborn babies and putting their own lives at risk. Not all unborn babies whose mothers have Zika are born with birth defects. It also should be noted that no matter whether an unborn baby is healthy or sick, the baby deserves a right to life.
Another problem is with the drug itself. 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 Women on Waves appears to be providing), more lives could be in jeopardy.
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Although Women on Waves 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.
In February, LifeNews reported that some pro-life countries have been confiscating the dangerous abortion drugs when they find them in the mail.