Zika continues to be a political football for abortion activists to toss about. The latest is an OB/GYN, writing about how Puerto-Rican women need abortion in order to “fight” the virus.
Writing for the Washington Post, Kristyn Brandi claims that “We know how to fight the Zika virus in Puerto Rico” — but then says that women simply aren’t being given the tools to do so. The tools she’s referring to are, of course, contraception and abortion, neither of which actually fight Zika. What they do is prevent babies with potential birth defects from being born, which is what abortion activists like Brandi are actually concerned with.
For that reason, I believe we absolutely cannot make any strides in the fight against Zika without funding for family planning services. Period. We do not yet have an effective means to reduce infection rates or cure women or men currently infected with the virus. The only scientifically proven weapons we have against more babies born with Zika-related birth defects are reproductive health services. The sad fact is that while Congress delays access to much-needed resources because of ideological differences about whether family planning should be funded by a portion of the Zika bill, more and more women and men are becoming infected.
Reproductive autonomy — the ability to control when and if a woman becomes pregnant or chooses to continue a pregnancy — is at the heart of all of these delays. But the bottom line is: Providing reproductive health services to those in Zika-affected areas is vital to protecting women’s and children’s health.
In case you weren’t sure, “reproductive health services” means abortion. And it’s absolutely not the only way to fight Zika. There are preventive measures women can take to avoid being infected with the Zika virus. Scientists are also hard at work on ways to knock out the virus, including a GMO mosquito and a Zika vaccine. But if your goal is solely to prevent the births of babies with birth defects, then these probably aren’t of much interest.
Each second we wait means more pregnant women will have affected pregnancies. We know that contraception and abortion access will prevent more children from being born with serious abnormalities — so why aren’t we giving women and their doctors the tools they need?
First, information needs to be more available so that women can make informed decision about their reproductive health care. This includes the fact that Zika is transmitted sexually for possibly months after exposure, and condoms can reduce transmission risk. Contraception should become more readily accessible to all women, regardless of income.
Also, abortion should not have the roadblocks it currently has, especially when a Zika-affected pregnancy diagnosed in the second trimester means that time is critical. Puerto Rico’s current Zika crisis should be a wake-up call for all Americans, particularly Congress. Our representatives should accept that the need for abortion care will increase as Zika spreads further into the mainland United States. We have a responsibility to all of our citizens to make it easier to access the full spectrum of care and accurate information so that women like my colleague’s sister have everything they need in the fight against this virus.
Whenever abortion advocates talk about fighting the Zika virus, all they really mean is that they want to be able to freely practice eugenics, so that if there’s even a chance that a baby might have a birth defect, the mother can have an abortion. Never mind that this is ableist and offensive to people living with microcephaly; only abortion matters. As usual.
Taking lives is not fighting the Zika virus; to the contrary, it’s taking the easy way out and avoiding actual solutions. Encouraging women to have an abortion because their baby might have a birth defect like microcephaly — which hasn’t even been conclusively proven to be caused by the Zika virus yet, by the way — is not only not solving anything, it’s insanely disturbing. Are disabled lives that expendable, that worthless, to abortion activists like Brandi that it’s better to abort a baby just out of a mere possibility of disability?
Abortion is not the answer to fighting the Zika virus. As an OB/GYN, Brandi should know that. And she shouldn’t be treating it as some kind of solution when all it really is, is a convenient way for her to prevent people from living who she doesn’t find to be worthy of life. As a doctor, she should be ashamed.