Leftist groups and government officials are pressuring pregnant women in the Americas to disregard the sanctity of life in response to the mosquito-borne Zika virus and abort children diagnosed with brain deformities tied to the virus.
In Zika-affected countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, a region where abortion is very difficult, if not illegal, the virus outbreak has sparked a debate over the permissibility of abortion in pregnant women infected with the virus, which has been linked to a neurological disorder known as microcephaly that makes it especially dangerous to pregnant women and their babies.
Microcephaly is a birth defect that causes babies to be born with smaller heads than normal and often have developmental problems.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned pregnant American women and females of childbearing age who may become pregnant against traveling to most countries in the Americas where the Zika virus has spread.
CDC lists 24 countries and territories with active Zika virus transmissions, including 22 located in the Americas: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, US Virgin Islands and Venezuela.