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U.N. Women Head Calls For Expanded Reproductive Rights In Latin America Amid Zika Outbreak; Debate Over Abortion Access Continues

CNSNews.com: Head of U.N. Women: Expand ‘Reproductive Rights’ in Zika-Affected Countries ‘Not Only Because of Zika’ But It’s the ‘Right Thing to Do’
“U.N. Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of U.N. Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka told CNSNews.com Tuesday that ‘reproductive rights’ of women in countries affected by the Zika virus must be advanced ‘not only because of Zika but also, because it’s the right thing to do.’ … CNSNews.com asked Mlambo-Ngcuka to comment on the difficulty in addressing the Zika virus given the Catholic culture in the countries affected by it and their opposition to ‘reproductive health services,’ such as birth control and abortion. … According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua ban all abortions, while Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela allow abortion only to save a woman’s life…” (Brown, 2/23).

Scientific American: Zika Awakens Debate over Legal and Safe Abortion in Latin America
“…The increasing cases of microcephaly have given unprecedented urgency to the debate on Latin American women’s right to access safe abortions and the enforcement of restrictive laws in the region. … In Latin America the rules vary from extremely restrictive in nations such as El Salvador, where women have been imprisoned after deciding to undergo a voluntary abortion and, even in some cases, after suffering a miscarriage; to legal in Uruguay, where since 2012 abortion is authorized during the first 12 weeks of gestation, making the nation one of the exceptions in the region along Cuba, Guyana, Puerto Rico, and the capital of Mexico…” (Roman, 2/23).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.