Zika outbreak in Brazil flares abortion debate

Before her son was born, Danielle Alves wasn’t aware that Luiz Gustavo will have Microcephaly, a condition that would leave the 3-year-old so disabled that he cannot eat, talk or walk without help.

Still Alves states that she would have gone ahead with the pregnancy if she would have known it before and thinks that thousands of women affected by Zika virus outbreak would have done the same.

She further adds that it ‘s hard to have individual needs of the child but is definitely against abortion.

Researchers believe that owing to alarm in recent months of Zika virus, microcephaly can be caused in the fetus of pregnant women which has further prompted calls, outside as well as inside Brazil, for loosening a near-ban on abortion, in the most populous Catholic country in the world.

However, due to push for abortion rights, a backlash is being created, particularly among families having disabled children. Many have opted for social media apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook, where over 200 million people of Brazil are connected, for making their case. They argue that all babies, even those with severe microcephaly have a right to be born.

President of National Conference of Brazilian Bishops, Sergio Da Rocha, stated that abortion is the solution to Zika virus, and we need to value life, be it in any condition or situation.

Abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, and it causes danger to the life of the mother. While wealthy women in urban areas can practice safe abortions in private clinics, poor women have to rely on dicey and traditional procedures.

As per a judge in Central city of Goiania, abortions would be authorized in severe microcephaly cases. Some top newspapers have printed editorials that urge revisiting abortion laws.

In a recent editorial, Folha de S. Paulo stated that the most logical solution would be revising the penal code relating to abortion and decriminalizing the practice. This legislation is 3-quarters of a century old.

A prominent group of psychologists and attorneys is preparing a lawsuit that calls for women infected with Zika during pregnancies for getting abortions done legally.