Updated 07:50 AM EDT, Wed, Jun 23, 2021

Zika Virus: Should Parents Have the Option to Abort Affected Babies?

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More and more babies have been affected by the dangerous Zika virus over the past few months, and Brazil is having trouble containing the disease. As the number of affected citizens grow, more and more babies are being borne with microcephaly, a condition that leaves babies disabled, making them unable to walk, talk, or eat without help.

For other places, abortion is legal -- it is the choice of the mother whether or not she will subject their children to such a condition the rest of their lives.

In Brazil, women aren't offered the same choice and it is causing debates in the Brazilian government.

Refinery 29 noted that some people -- like the catholic leaders, for instance, insist on abortion and contraception bans. Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner of the National Council of Bishops in Brazil said, "Contraceptives are not a solution. There is not a single change in the Church's position."

He, along with the Catholic leaders, advocate for abstinence or natural family planning -- a method that according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services has a failure rate of 25 percent, as cited by Parent Herald.

In Brazil, abortion is illegal except when the pregnancy is due to rape or is a danger to the mother's life. The only medical condition involving the baby to make abortion legal is anencephaly, which is a birth defect that involves the brain.

In court, the debate is highly likely to intensify. A judge in Goiania already authorized abortions in severe cases of microcephaly, with media weighing in on the issue. A daily paper, Folha de S Paulo via CBS News said, "The most logical solution would be to revise the penal code relating to abortion, decriminalizing the practice. The legislation is three-quarters of a century old."

A group of attorneys and psychologists are also on their way of preparing a lawsuit to allow legal abortions for women infected with the Zika virus. This is the same group which won an eight-year legal battle that added anencephaly to the list of justifications for legal abortion in 2012. They hope to make the law see their point of view early this year as well.

In a Catholic country like Brazil, abortion is morally wrong. However, as presented by others, how can you bring a child into the world when he or she is going to need help to live his entire life, in an almost vegetative state?

The debate regarding abortion is nowhere near reaching common ground, but are you pro-life or pro-choice in this matter?

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