Women in El Salvador Asked to Delay Pregnancy Until 2018 Despite Nation's Strict Abortion Ban
Last week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel warnings for more than 20 nations in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, as they may be hotspots for the Zika virus.
In the past four months, nearly 4,000 cases have been reported in which Zika may have caused a congenital brain abnormality called "microcephaly" in babies. Now, some governments in Latin America are proposing pregnancy bans for up to two years.
In El Salvador the problem has been compounded since the vice minister of health asked women to postpone pregnancy until 2018 in a nation with one of the strictest abortion bans in the world. Women in El Salvador cannot have abortions even when faced with issues like rape, incest, fetal deformation, and maternal mortality. Some women even risk going to jail simply for having a miscarriage. One feminist writer took to Twitter to express her outrage on the nation's request.
Women in El Salvador aren't supposed to have babies until 2018 because of #ZikaVirus. So will the government stop jailing them for abortion?— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) January 24, 2016
In response to the government's request, women's rights groups are calling for an end to the abortion ban. So far there have been three new cases of the Zika virus reported, although it does not spread from person to person contact.
Photo Credit: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images