With the current Zika Virus Epidemic, Brazil must face the on going debate regarding abortion. Pregnant women are in panic because several cases suggest that the Zika virus causes microcephaly in babies–a condition in which a person’s head is significantly smaller than normal for their age and sex.
Brazil, like many Latin American countries, bans abortion. Currently, they face the task of trying to lift such ban in order to prevent microcephaly in unborn babies. Lifting the ban would probably justify abortions in these extreme cases, but I am certain the Brazilian government would still be stringent on their abortion policies outside of cases such as this one.
The LDS church stands that some exceptional circumstances for abortion which include when a pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.
The way abortion is in Brazil right now, women even under the extreme circumstances cannot get one. Does micropheny constitute a severe birth defect that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth? Should Brazil remain stringent with its abortion laws, even under extreme circumstances? Even if the ban was partially lifted, would women have to have their cases proven by a doctor and the court? Is proving such cases to the court fair to women? These are some of the thought provoking questions that Brazil must tackle before babies with mirocephaly are born.