Alexandra Minna Stern

Stern says changes in reproductive rights in Latin America should be driven by respect for human rights, not fear of Zika virus

an In The Media Reference

"Zika and abortion: will the virus prompt Latin America to rethink abortion and birth control?" - The Conversation. 3/16/2016.

Links between the Zika virus outbreak and a spike in microcephaly in newborns have prompted calls to loosen Latin America’s strict abortion laws and make birth control more accessible. In this piece, Alexandra Minna Stern examines the specifics of and rationales for restrictions on birth control and, especially, abortion in Latin America. She also looks at public health problems related to these restrictions, exclusive of those linked to the Zika virus. She says: "Concern about Zika could lead to real change for reproductive health for millions of women in the region. But this can happen only if the expansion of abortion and contraception is based on human rights and reproductive health equity, not driven primarily by fears of defective babies."

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