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Preventing, Managing Zika Requires Rights-Centered Approach For Women

The Lancet Global Health: The right(s) approach to Zika
Editorial Board

“…[P]oor women in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and elsewhere have been let down by their governments. They are at the center of the [Zika] epidemics; they are scrutinized and lectured, but lack of access to basic reproductive services and restrictive abortion laws have stripped them of a choice when faced with the dire consequences of the virus on their health and that of their children. This imbalance has been recognized and is being acted upon … In early April, the Pan American Health Organization issued a guidance document on the key ethical issues raised by the epidemic that … include the duty of all governments to provide information, respect the right to choose, and provide access to comprehensive reproductive health care and social support to women affected by Zika and their children. In many ways, Zika is the epitome of the interdependence of health and human rights. Controlling vectors is an essential step, but it will be ineffectual without a rights-centered approach” (July 2016).