Carstens: Brazil Should Not Change Abortion Legislation due to Zika Virus

Courtney Carstens

A quick, single mosquito bite caused it all. The fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, do I need to go on about the uncomfortable pain suffered by those who have contracted the Zika virus? But what are its effects on the fetuses in the wombs of affected mothers?

The spreading virus has begun to make its way through South Africa all the way here to little ol’  Iowa when the first case was reported by Health Officials on February 19th. There had been one other reported case of the virus in Texas.

With Zika continuing to spread, experts have linked the virus to the developing microcephaly in infants – a condition marked by an unusually small head and underdeveloped brain. Although there is no conclusive proof of a connection between Zika and microcephaly, the link is “strongly suspected” which makes public officials concerned about the health of their citizens.

On such example is the mosquito infested country of  Brazil. The country, and others like it, have a mainly anti-abortion attitude as far as legislation. However, they are being pushed to enact legislation that would allow abortions to take place in the case of a fetus contracting this disease through his/her mother. Protesters in the past have made it possible for women to terminate their pregnancy only if they were raped or if their life is at risk. The big question is whether or not those in Brazil should be pushing pro-abortion legislation at all.

Pro-Abortion legislation should not be pushed in the country of Brazil because of the historical and religious aspects of the country. Other than that, many Brazilian pro-life advocates believe that those who are fighting for abortion rights are only using the Zika virus and its link to microcephaly to get more leeway on what constitutes a legal abortion in Brazil.

Brazil’s national religion is Roman Catholicism  which strongly argues for pro-life actions. Catholics believe that for no reason should a fetus be terminated because the fetus is a living human being. Abortion is murder in their eyes.  By allowing those protesters who are fighting for abortion rights in the case of a fetus contracting Zika, the Brazilian government is turning their backs on the religion of their government. When a country declares a national religion they are saying that they endorse that specific religions beliefs and customs.

By Brazil allows abortions to occur they are being hypocrites and are going against both their religion and country’s history.

In the 1500’s Europeans came to Brazil to colonize the area and civilize the native people. With the so called civilizing of  the native people, the Europeans brought with them Catholicism. Jump about 400 years later and Catholicism was established at the official religion of Brazil.  Priests are paid by the government and have political influence within the government and most festivals celebrated in Brazil are based on Catholic traditions.

Obviously, the Catholic religion is a huge aspect in both the religious and cultural aspects of Brazil.

Those who are pushing for a more pro-abortion legislation in Brazilian government, are actually a small portion of the country’s population. Currently about roughly 17 percent of Brazilians want the change in the current legislation that the protesters are fighting for so a majority of 83 percent want no change in legislation. Only a minority of the country’s citizens want a change in legislation so those protesters need to halt their campaign because a country should only be concerned with the will of the majority of the people and not the minority.

While the Zika virus is continuing to spread further, countries need to stay strong in the majority of its citizens beliefs. Brazil cannot allow for pro-choice legislation when it comes to abortion laws.