The advice...to delay getting pregnant ignores the reality that many women and girls simply cannot exercise control over whether or when or under what circumstances they become pregnant.
Women who are worried about microcephaly affecting their children, the rare and serious birth defect linked to some Zika cases in Brazil, face few options. Roughly 97% of women of childbearing age in Latin America and the Caribbean live in countries subject to "highly restrictive" abortion laws, according to The Guttmacher Institute. As the virus spreads across the Americas, reproductive-rights advocates and high-profile officials are calling on governments to give women more options.
Ensuring access to "quality sexual- and reproductive-health services," he said, is an essential component of "upholding human rights" in a public-health crisis. "Health services must be delivered in a way that ensures a woman’s fully informed consent, respects her dignity, guarantees her privacy, and is responsive to her needs and perspectives," Hussein said. The combination of a lack of access to education and services and a "very vague and very empty" response that puts the burden on women is especially troubling to Paula Avila-Guillen, the Center for Reproductive Rights' specialist in Latin America and the Caribbean. "[Lawmakers] are forgetting that they have a responsibility to protect women's rights and to make sure women have access to all these services," she told Refinery29. While stronger laws and policies can certainly help mitigate the crisis, it's essential, she said, that men are also part of the conversation about preventing pregnancies amid the outbreak.
Roughly 97% of women of childbearing age in Latin America and the Caribbean live in countries subject to "highly restrictive" abortion laws.
Women don't get pregnant by themselves...I feel governments forget that when [they] give these recommendations.