A Catholic leader in Jamaica is offering a loving home for babies who have microcephaly amid fears that the Zika virus is causing brain disorders in unborn babies.
Roman Catholic Archbishop Kenneth D. Richards of Kingston, Jamaica urged women not to abort their unborn babies because of a disability or disease but to consider giving them a loving home through adoption, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.
Abortion has become a major issue related to the Zika virus because of a possible link to birth defects, including microcephaly. New research suggests the virus may not be to blame for the uptick in birth defects in some areas affected by Zika. Still, abortion advocates have been using the virus as an excuse to push for more abortions on babies with disabilities. Some pro-abortion groups even have been scaring women into aborting their unborn babies without knowing if they have Zika or if their unborn baby has a disability.
Richards said his church is willing to care for babies and children with microcephaly. He said the Catholic Church in Jamaica has two ministries, The Missionaries of the Poor and Mustard Seed Communities, that will offer care to any child with microcephaly or other birth defects.
According to the Jamaica Star, the island nation has seen an increase in illegal abortions amid scares about the Zika virus. Abortion is illegal in Jamaica except in a few rare circumstances.
The Gleaner reports some Jamaican legislators have been touting abortion as an option for pregnant women with the Zika virus, but Richards called the abortion push discriminatory and eugenic in nature. The archbishop implored families not to abort unborn babies simply because of a potential disability.
The eugenic abortion push is concerning to many parents and disability rights advocates, even some who identify as pro-choice. Parents of children with microcephaly are speaking out about the brain disorder and encouraging pregnant moms with Zika to recognize the value of their unborn babies.
Haneefa De Clercq has two adult children who were born with microcephaly, WPBF 25 News reported. The Florida mother said her children have mental and physical disabilities because of microcephaly, but they continue to amaze her and bring joy to their family every day.
“That’s what I want those mothers to know, that it’s not the end of the world because you have these kids,” De Clercq said. “They will teach them so much. They’ll teach them how to love, they will teach them patience. Everything is in God’s time, and if we have the patience to go through that, the rewards are so much greater, and my kids are the greatest gift. They’re the greatest gift God has ever given me.”
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control reportsthere is evidence of 749 pregnant women being infected with Zika in the U.S. Five of their unborn babies died in miscarriages or abortions, while 20 other babies were born with birth defects in the U.S., the CDC reports.