Opinion

Abortion is the answer to the Zika virus, claims Slate writer

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As soon as the Zika outbreak started, abortion activists seized upon it, ready to exploit people’s fear and pain to push for more abortions. Originally located in Central and South America, the virus is now slowly moving into the United States, with some women choosing to have abortions after being infected. Pro-abortion extremists were seemingly thrilled, as the only way to combat the Zika virus, which could possibly lead to birth defects like microcephaly, is abortion. Or at least that’s the argument from Nora Caplan-Bricker at Slate, who is trying to claim that pro-life policies will lead to a Zika “disaster” in Florida and Texas.

Officials preparing to combat Zika in Republican-held states such as Texas and Florida are trapped in an unfortunate double bind. On the one-hand, both states declined to participate in the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which means that many of their residents fall into a “coverage gap”: they’re too poor to buy insurance, even with subsidies, on the exchange, but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid under their state’s highly limited eligibility requirements. For uninsured, low-income women, family planning clinics have long been the best places to seek out contraceptives, prenatal exams, and other forms of reproductive healthcare at manageable prices. But many of these facilities also provide abortions—or, as in the case of some Planned Parenthoods, are affiliated with others that do—and as state-level Republicans have accelerated their war on abortion, hundreds of clinics have been forced to scale back operations or close altogether.

Caplan-Bricker then predictably laments the closure of several abortion facilities in Texas – but what she doesn’t note is that many these facilities weren’t exactly focused on women’s health and safety.

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“Years of cuts to women’s healthcare may come back to haunt southern Republicans this mosquito season, she writes, “especially since… the poorest women are at the highest risk for contracting Zika.” She also claims that “many women have simply stopped seeing OB-GYNs” thanks to, of course, pro-life policies. She continues:

Worrisome as it is that many women in Zika’s pathway rarely go to the doctor, public health officials are also worried about what will happen if they all try to seek medical attention at once. If “an avalanche of people” descends on affordable family planning facilities after the first few cases of Zika transmission, there’s no way the remaining, beleaguered clinics will be able to meet the demand, Linda Sutherland, executive director of Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County, a Florida maternal health nonprofit, warned KHN. Texas and Florida don’t seem to be doing much to prepare for that possibility. Instead, they’re warning residents to stock up on bug spray, hang some mosquito netting, and, if at all possible, avoid getting pregnant. Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers have made it ever harder for low-income women to follow that advice.

So the issue here, according to Caplan-Bricker, is that (thanks to pro-lifers, naturally) there are gaps in medical coverage, some people aren’t able to get proper prenatal care, and some people also aren’t sure where they can go for affordable health care. There’s also a concern that there aren’t good enough safeguards in place to keep people from being infected. These are all valid concerns. But the only answer Caplan-Bricker has is more abortion. Because having a baby with a birth defect is the worst thing ever for women, right? They shouldn’t even risk it. Abortions for everyone!

Never mind that it’s not even clear that the virus causes microcephaly. Never mind that people with microcephaly have spoken out about how offensive and distasteful they find the push for abortion to avoid having a baby with microcephaly. Never mind that there are preventive measures women can take. Never mind about the genetically modified mosquito that could be a game-changer in the fight against the virus. Nope, none of that matters. All women need is abortion! And don’t expect pro-abortion extremists to give them any other kind of aid beyond pointing them in the direction of the closest abortion clinic.

What Caplan-Bricker doesn’t point out is all the options women have besides abortion. She doesn’t tell them about the comprehensive health clinics that vastly outnumber abortion mills like Planned Parenthood, clinics that provide free or low-cost health care for women. In fact, the only service they don’t provide is abortion, which is why abortion advocates don’t want women to know about them. They aren’t interested in real choice, after all. There are also Federally Qualified Health Clinics, which provide comprehensive primary care services to all people, regardless of their ability to pay. Caplan-Bricker could have included that information in her pro-abortion screed, but of course, then she wouldn’t be able to whine about how pro-lifers are causing a “disaster” — the disaster, of course, being that more babies with disabilities might possibly be born.

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Once again, we see that pro-abortion activists aren’t actually concerned with helping women. Their number one concern, as always, is abortion. They will take any situation, and turn it into another excuse to push their pro-abortion agenda. In this case, not only is this a disservice to women, it’s an insult to people with disabilities. Caplan-Bricker should be ashamed of herself.

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