Fwd: Congress BLOCKING contraception for Zika countries?
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Brian Dixon, Population Connection Action Fund<firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 3:41 PM Subject: Congress BLOCKING contraception for Zika countries? To: Terry Travers <email@example.com>
The Zika virus has women across the hemisphere terrified of getting pregnant. But in the countries most affected, modern contraceptives and basic reproductive health care are in short supply.
And even worse? Republican leaders in Congress are refusing to send contraceptive care for the women who need it so desperately.
The irony is bitter: the World Health Organization and several governments are telling women in areas with Zika to avoid getting pregnant.¹ Exactly how are they supposed to do that without access to modern contraception?
President Obama has proposed an emergency Zika aid package that could help more women and families get the contraceptives they need to avoid a potentially disastrous pregnancy — but Republicans in Congress are threatening to block the bill. The party line: the birth defects that Zika may cause really aren't that bad.²
To any woman who might become pregnant, Zika is a nightmare. The virus has been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect that can lead to severe neurological problems or death. The WHO estimates that as many as 4 million people could be at risk by the end of 2016.
It's a crisis so severe that even the pope has hinted that contraception might be acceptable in fighting Zika.³
That's why President Obama is trying to improve access to family planning and contraceptives in Latin America as part of the fight against Zika — but Republicans in Congress aren't just threatening to strip family planning funds out of the aid package, they're trying to block any new Zika relief funds at all.
This head-in-the-sand political posturing could have terrible consequences for thousands of women if we don't act now.