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Zika Response Highlights U.S. Politics Surrounding Family Planning, Abortion

Huffington Post: The Undeclared War on Contraception
Robert Walker, president of the Population Institute

“…Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have been waging [a war on contraception] for several years now. They have pursued this war under many banners. It has been fought under the ‘pro-life’ banner. It has been fought under the banner of ‘fiscal responsibility.’ It has been fought under the banner of ‘religious liberty.’ It is now being fought under the banner of ‘fighting Zika.’ … Anyone truly concerned about the Zika virus — inside or outside the United States — should be seeking to provide additional contraceptive support to women who are at high risk for being infected with Zika. … It’s time to end the undeclared war on contraception” (7/8).

U.S. News & World Report: Abortion Politics in the Age of Zika
Carol Sanger, professor at Columbia University

“…The age of Zika is not the time … to play politics with women’s health or their rights. As things stand now, Congress refuses to help women avoid pregnancy, while some states are hell-bent on burdening access to abortion for women whose pregnancies are unwanted. In the coming months, more and more Zika-infected women will become pregnant. Some will decide to keep their pregnancies and care for their microcephalic infants into childhood and beyond. Others may make a different choice, law permitting. Right now the law in several states does not permit, but seems content to force unwanted motherhood on what may be a large class of women subject to a new environmental threat” (7/7).

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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.