Two law professors from the nominally Catholic Georgetown University have published an article on a university website this week calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend birth control and abortion in response to the Zika virus outbreak in South America in order to “truly respect the dignity and health of women of childbearing age.”
The authors state that it is “critical” that countries be required “to respect, protect, and fulfil women’s health-related human rights, including reproductive rights,” which include “accessible, affordable, acceptable, and quality abortions.”
The article, titled “The WHO Must Include Access to Birth Control and Abortion in its Temporary Recommendations for Zika-Associated Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” was posted on Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law blog website.
Lawrence O. Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute and university professor at Georgetown, and Alexandra Phelan, an adjunct professor in global health law and doctoral researcher with the O’Neill Institute, coauthored the piece.
“The Director-General’s Temporary Recommendations should include a directive to countries to ensure that women at risk of Zika virus infection have access to birth control and safe abortion,” the article states.