Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb 4, 2016 / 17:10 pm
In its first statement related to the health crisis sparked by the Zika virus, the Brazilian Conference of Catholic Bishops said that the disease is "no justification whatsoever to promote abortion."
In the statement, released Feb. 4, the Brazilian bishops say that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion "in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life."
Early this week, a group of feminist organizations asked the Supreme Federal Court in Brazil to legalize abortion in cases of "malformation of the fetus." Abortion is illegal in Brazil, except in cases of rape, situations deemed to be health emergencies, or if the baby has a fatal abnormality known as anencephaly.
Concerns over the Zika outbreak continue to grow as the virus – spread by mosquitos and sexual contact – has reached at least 29 countries. World Health Organization estimates suggest that 3 to 4 million people throughout the Americas will be infected in 2016.