Warnings Against Pregnancy for Zika Virus Applying Pressure to CatholicsCraig Dalton (Author) Published Date : Feb 04, 2016 22:12 IST
As health officials struggle with organizing a response to the mosquito-borne Zika virus that many believe is linked to a rise in abnormalities in newborns in Brazil, the best advice they now have is simple: Do not become pregnant.
That recommendation might be hard to carry out around the globe, but it could prove quite difficult in Latin America, as many people s attitudes and often their laws, are influenced by the Catholic Church, which catechism bars use of artificial birth control.
The Health Minister in Colombia has advised couples to not conceive until the middle of July. In El Salvador, health officials said to wait for two years, advice some see as growing evidence that governments have finally taken this virus seriously.
The World Health Organization declared that Zika was a public health emergency around the world, primarily they were concerned about the link they believe exists between women who are infected with the virus during pregnancy and the chance their fetus could develop microcephaly, which is when a baby is born with an extremely small head and brain.
WHO did not approve the recommendations for celibacy. Experts have called the recommendation an unusual request, as some said they had never heard a government say to its peoples not to become pregnant.
The majority of people in Latin America are Catholic, although growth of evangelical Protestantism has eroded rapidly the former near monopoly the Catholic Church had on religion.
Nevertheless, the majority of Latin Americans approve of the use of birth control such as using oral contraceptives or condoms.
Amongst the countries in Latin America, an average of 66% of the people surveyed said Catholics should be allowed to use birth control, but that goes against the teaching of the Church that say transmission of life is the integral purpose of having sex.
Warnings Against Pregnancy for Zika Virus Applying Pressure to Catholics