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ss triple helix - spring 2016,  Zika and pro-abortion activism

Zika and pro-abortion activism

The rush to promote abortion as a response to Zika invites serious questions

The post-Christian West is fond of believing itself to be a harbinger of moral progress and human betterment. But does this stand the reality test? We have recently seen a plethora of media reports reflecting the eye-watering opportunism of abortion rights activists. They are using the Zika emergency as a pretext to pressurise countries in Central and South America to change their abortion laws. And much of the media seems to be reporting this with approval.

Within days of the WHO declaring the Zika virus a global emergency, where it said the disease was tied to increased cases of microcephaly in babies, a clamour set in with the oft-repeated mantra that 'access to abortion is a matter of human rights'. A spokesman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, put forward a wish list that includes contraception - including emergency contraception - and 'safe abortion services'. (1) The 'progressive' news site Think Progress was even more transparent. It asked, 'Could a mosquito-borne illness that threatens to spread across the Americas actually push countries to change their restrictive approaches to women's health care? International reproductive rights experts hope so.' (2) In other words, Let's pressurise Catholic majority countries to abolish anti-abortion laws. 'Zika is a direct consequence of ignoring science,' opined the Ottawa Citizen. (3) Other British media ran items implicitly critical of the Catholic Church for its stance. (4)

But hold on a minute. Has a link between Zika and microcephaly been proved beyond doubt? Not so claims Charles Camosy, Associate Professor of Theology and Social Ethics at Fordham University in California in an article first published in the Los Angeles Times and repeated on the ABC Religion and Ethics website. (5) He rightly points out that abortion is a very blunt instrument. Even if a connection was established, ultrasound tests would not confirm microcephaly until the third trimester.

Camosy concludes, 'Instead of arrogantly insisting that developing nations must change their laws to suit someone else's ideology, abortion proponents and the media would be better served by taking a critical look at the dark tendency here and elsewhere to turn to eugenics as a solution to Zika.

  1. UN News Centre, 5 February 2016
  2. Zielinski A, Ahmed B. The Zika virus' unlikely silver lining, in Think Progress, 30 January 2016
  3. Ashby, M. Zika. What happens when you ignore science, Ottawa Citizen, 23 February 2016
  4. Sherwood H. Vatican says abortion is 'illegitimate response' to Zika virus. Guardian, 18 February 2016. A Google News search, Zika and abortion, will reveal more.
  5. Camosy C, Is the call for Zika virus abortions the new eugenics? LA Times, 19 February 2016
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