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Latin American prelates decry push for abortion as response to Zika virus

February 05, 2016

Catholic prelates in Latin America have reacted strongly against a drive to promote abortion as a response to the spread of the Zika virus.

Because the Zika virus is connected with severe birth defects, the World Health Organization has declared a state of emergency. Many public-health officials have advised women in the region to avoid pregnancy, and recommended abortion for those whose unborn children are affected.

The Brazilian bishops’ conference observed that some groups, pushing for legal approval of abortion, show “a total lack of respect for the gift of life.” The bishops encouraged Brazilians to work to wipe out the mosquito that carries the Zika virus, rather than the children afflicted with microcephaly—a disease that has been linked to the virus. The bishops also noted that although the connection between Zika and microcephaly “deserves special attention,” to date “it has not been scientifically proven.”

In Honduras, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga said that it is wrong ever to speak of “therapeutic abortion” as a solution to a medical problem. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist,” he said. “Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing.”


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