Why abortion is not the response to Zika that Colombia’s poor need

Dr Danelia Cardona heads the Department of Promotion and Defence of Life of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, and is coordinator of Catholic Voices Colombia

Catholic Voices Comment

zika[Danelia Cardona in Bogotá] The ‘Zika’ virus, which has exploded recently in western news outlets, has barely been off the headlines here in Colombia over the past three months. Initially seen as yet another “vector-transmitted” disease common to this latitude  — such as dengue and chikungunya — it has fast come to be seen as an uncontrollable and lethal outbreak. As ever with such outbreaks, panic and fear quickly cloud perceptions, leading people to see links where there are none, and producing knee-jerk responses from governments and international agencies.

Tragically, women in Colombia are being urged to abort for fear of their their babies being born with small heads as result of micocephaly caused by Zika. Yet the link between Zika and microcephaly is far from obvious, and the evidence is hotly disputed. In Colombia, latest reports indicate that of 22,600 people infected with probable Zika, only 1,331 have been confirmed through…

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