This year’s Zika outbreak continues to rekindle the abortion debate in several Latin American countries and beyond. Abortion activists are using the virus as an argument in favor of loosening abortion restrictions, claiming that women have the right to abort if the baby may be born with disabilities.
Now the epidemic has made its way into the American abortion debate. Although the virus is not yet transmitting in the United States, several pregnant women have contracted it abroad, later returning to the United States. The Washington Times reports that three of these women have given birth already, with two others still pregnant without complication. Two women chose abortion and two suffered miscarriages.
As a result of the epidemic, pro-abortion lawmakers have promoted a $1.9 billion request to help fight Zika, and promote a “full range” of family planning services to countries suffering from Zika. Senator Patty Murray said abortion advocates in Congress would fight to ensure that women everywhere can “plan their pregnancies.”
However, Congressional pro-lifers are concerned with the trend of Zika as a pro-abortion argument. In a letter to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations’ high commissioner on human rights, Rep. Blake Farenthold and 50 other lawmakers called on the United Nations to rise above the politics…
We implore you to clarify your statement to make clear you are not lending your voice to efforts to capitalize on this disease to promote a politically motivated pro-abortion agenda. We hope that your recent remarks do not favor abortion as a public health tool to tackle the Zika virus, and would appreciate a response with your clarification.
The letter followed comments from the UN High Commissioner, who claimed that safe abortion services are part of an international standard for women’s reproductive health. In a press release, the Congressmen stated that “taking a pro-abortion stance” was not “encouraging thoughtful deliberation on how best to curb the spread of the disease” and that it is “inappropriate to suggest that U.N. treaties secure an international right to an abortion, where the text of the treaties state otherwise.”
While pro-life lawmakers are demanding that the United Nations not use its influence to promote pro-abortion politics, several pro-choice organizations, including Amnesty International, are already using the Zika virus to target pro-life laws in Latin America.