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Editorial, Letter To Editor Discuss Issues Surrounding U.S. Response To Zika Virus

San Jose Mercury News: Support Obama plan to help stop Zika where it started
Editorial Board

“…Americans should get behind President Obama’s $1.8 billion proposal to keep the [Zika] virus from spreading from South America to the United States. … Congress should approve the request and get the president’s plan rolling as soon as possible. … One of the major public health problems throughout the world is that vaccines are less profitable than other health products. That means vaccine advancements rarely happen unless governments sense a crisis and provide funding for the research. This is one of those times when the market will not produce what’s needed, and government has to step in. Congress should increase the funding for vaccine research in its next budget” (2/14).

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: U.S. Aid for Abortions for Women With Zika
John Seager, president and chief executive of Population Connection

“As Brazil considers easing restrictions on abortion in the wake of the Zika virus, the White House must also evaluate our own policies that stand in the way of helping women affected by the disease. … And yet it cannot, because since 1973, a flawed interpretation of the Helms Amendment — which only prohibits ‘the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions’ — has forbidden aid for abortion in all circumstances. … The White House has the power to lift restrictions on American aid for women affected by Zika who need access to safe abortion care — and, in fact, both Democratic candidates have committed to fixing Helms. It’s time for Republican candidates to do the same, and for us all to stop playing political games with women’s lives” (2/15).

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