Reproductive Rights and Access to Safe Abortion in times of Zika

zika8safe2choose has just launched a new website to share information about the Zika virus epidemic. With growing concerns about the virus spreading, the Rio Olympic Games just around the corner and the World Health Organization (WHO) recently confirming the link between microcephaly and the Zika virus during pregnancy, safe2choose’s new landing page, pregnantwithzika.org, seeks to address the issues at hand. The goal is to provide preventative information on how to avoid the virus and, most importantly, to support pregnant women in knowing they can exercise their reproductive rights and make decisions about their bodies and their futures.

The number of women contacting safe2choose has increased by 1340% and the number of requests for abortion pills increased by 1933% between December 2015 and April 2016. With the increase in visitors and requests for assistance, safe2choose would like to provide information and support to women who might be affected by Zika.

The number of babies born with microcephaly has increased in Latin American countries, especially Brazil, where 3,448 cases were reported last year. This has sparked a debate all over the world about women’s Reproductive Rights, especially women living in Latin America – home to some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. Chile and El Salvador, for example, prohibit abortion under all circumstances, including in situations of rape and when women’s health and lives are at risk. The only answer most Ministry of Health departments have in response to the Zika virus epidemic is recommending women of reproductive age to avoid getting pregnant for at least 2 years. But, this is an outrageous and irresponsible expectation when access to modern contraceptives is extremely limited, contraceptives are not 100% effective and abortion isn’t a legal or safe option. Several activists and key leaders are debating whether it is fair to force Latin-American women to pay the price of a failed policy to fight the Aedes Aegypti mosquito and an extremely conservative and detrimental stance on sexual and reproductive health.

safe2choose’s new landing page offers women general information on pregnancy, Zika and microcephaly, areas affected as well as safe options for women considering an abortion. If women want more information about safe abortion, they would then be redirected to safe2choose.org for more information. pregnantwithzika.org is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

If you are pregnant and have the Zika virus, you might be thinking about how it will affect your future and what your options are. If you are considering an abortion, safe2choose respects your right to make this decision and is here to support you. On our website you will find factual information on how to use the abortion pills, the opportunity to speak to trained counsellors via live chat/email/social media, as well as help in accessing safe and high quality abortion pills. An abortion with pills is a very safe and discreet way to end an early pregnancy in the comfort of your home. For more information on how we can help you, please click here – the website is available in English, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, French and Hindi.

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