The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness, is quickly spreading across the Americas. Of particular concern are indications that the Zika virus may be linked to microcephaly, a congenital condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. Some governments in Latin America are responding to the Zika crisis by advising people to delay pregnancies, especially while exposure to the Zika virus is possible.
“There are many potential health risks related to pregnancy, which is why Planned Parenthood Global asserts that comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services must be a central part of the response to the Zika crisis,” said Dee Redwine, Latin America Regional Director, Planned Parenthood Global. “Governments cannot on the one hand discourage pregnancy, while at the same time limiting their commitments to and funding for family planning and access to safe and legal abortion.
“Urging women to avoid pregnancies indefinitely is not a realistic solution to a public health problem; access to family planning information and services plus safe and legal abortion is what women want and need. This is why Planned Parenthood Global has been working with local partners in Africa and Latin America for more than 40 years to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and break down barriers to health care. Communities all over the world must have the tools, the information, and the services to live the lives they choose.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
January 28, 2016