Quantcast
Connect with us

Experts: Christian doctrine is causing the Zika virus outbreak to explode

Published

on

Experts say that the Zika virus outbreak, which has been linked to birth defects, is exploding in part because Christian doctrine against contraception and abortion.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan warned last week that the Zika virus “is now spreading explosively” throughout the Americas. The mosquito-borne virus corresponds to a “steep increase in the birth of babies with abnormally small heads and in cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome,” Chan said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brazil alone has already seen 4,000 cases of babies born with microcephaly to mothers infected with the Zika virus. According to the CDC, the virus can also be “transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.”

Experts agree that contraception and abortion are two of the best tools for combating the impact of the Zika virus outbreak, but Christian doctrine either forbids or discourages both in many cases.

Quartz reported that abortion is completely banned in five Latin American countries, and only 52 percent of women in the region have access to birth control, which makes recommendations to delay pregnancy unrealistic.

David Vanderpool, a Tennessee missionary doctor working Haiti, told NPR over the weekend that Christian doctrine complicated responding to the outbreak.

ADVERTISEMENT

“People assume that women in Haiti, you know, would have the same access to birth control that American women would, and it’s just not true,” he explained. “The Haitian woman may not have a choice in sex. The sex may not be consensual at all. And so just enjoining people not to have babies is probably not going to be very effective.”

“It’s easy to wax philosophical when we’re in an air-conditioned building in the United States surrounded by all the food and water that we need,” he continued. “We have so many examples of women who had to prostitute themselves because their children were starving to death. Well, you know, that’s not a philosophically discussed question, but that is a real question; that’s a reality.”

Although the Catholic Church forbids contraception, Vanderpool said that his organization had found that opposing birth control was not realistic in developing countries.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In fact, we give out contraception,” he said. “Many of our ladies will be pregnant 16 times in their life. About half of those pregnancies, the children will survive until age 5. We see that with each pregnancy, they lose about 20 percent of their body weight, and the toll is extreme.”

But Vanderpool said that he discouraged abortions regardless of the consequences.

“You know, in my opinion, abortion is not a good answer. I think that our answer’s going to lie in proper birth control and adequate vaccines,” he insisted to NPR. “We could have come up with a cure many, many years ago so that we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Aid groups have warned of a rise in deaths from unsafe abortions due to a lack of access.

Katja Iversen, chief executive of the Women Deliver organization, called it “a cheap shot for governments to say postpone your next pregnancy if you don’t make contraception and access to safe abortion readily available.”

“It is interesting to see how the focus is on the big epidemic, but even though women are carrying the burden, they are still an asterisk,” Iversen said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ed. note: This article has been updated with the CDC’s warning that the Zika virus can be transmitted from mother to baby.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Alarming gibberish’: Trump mocked for raging impotently against Fed chair and China

Published

on

President Donald Trump attacked his own Federal Reserve chairman as an "enemy" of the United States amid his escalating trade war with China -- and other social media users were flabbergasted.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell refused to budge on interest rates, despite heavy pressure by the president in the face of a looming recession, and China retaliated against the tariffs Trump imposed with a new round of their own.

Trump lashed out at Powell, whose name he misspelled, and compared him unfavorably to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump snaps after ‘enemy’ Fed chairman doesn’t drop interest rates — compares him to China’s Xi

Published

on

President Donald Trump flipped out on his Federal Reserve chairman after China imposed a new round of tariffs in his ongoing trade war against the economic powerhouse.

The president lashed out at Fed chairman Jerome Powell after he refused to budge on interest rates, and referred to the official he chose as an "enemy" of the United States.

"As usual, the Fed did NOTHING!" Trump raged on Twitter. "It is incredible that they can 'speak' without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work 'brilliantly' with both, and the U.S. will do great.."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump allies have been reading a bizarre fascist manifesto that encourages young men to prepare for military rule

Published

on

Political allies of President Donald Trump have been reading a bizarre fascist manifesto that encourages young right-wing men to join the military and then use the knowledge in combat they gain to prepare for military rule.

Politico reports that former Trump White House officials who have read the book do not approve of its conclusions but they do believe it presents several intriguing ideas and they think it's gained real traction among many of the disaffected young white men who voted for the president in 2016.

"It’s still a cult book,” said a former Trump White House official. "If you’re a young person, intelligent, adjacent in some way to the right, it’s very likely you would have heard of it."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image