WaPo Joins War on Catholic Church over Zika and Abortion

AP Photo/Felipe Dana
AP Photo/Felipe Dana

The beltway bastion of mainstream media liberalism, the Washington Post, has teamed up with the abortion industry to beat up the Catholic Church for its opposition to abortion as a means of addressing the Zika virus outbreak in Latin America.

Decrying what it calls the Church’s “entrenched opposition” to relaxing abortion laws, the Post abandoned all pretense of objectivity in its lengthy screed in support of abortion as a means to tackle the Zika crisis. Nowhere in the nearly 1,500-word article does the Post bother to comment on the numerous problems with this approach, in its zeal to back up the abortion lobby.

The article does, of course, trot out Planned Parenthood’s fully discredited argument that legislation restricting abortion causes a rise in dangerous, “back-alley abortions.” As has been shown in the case of the United States, making abortion legal resulted in no perceptible decrease in female mortality due to complications in abortion.

Moreover, by this logic, since outlawing terrorism results in the use of dangerous, homemade bombs, states should legalize it and supply them with effective, professional explosives.

The Post claims that “Brazil’s government blames the virus for a sharp increase in reports of children born with undersize heads, a condition known as microcephaly,” without mentioning the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized that so far there is no conclusive relation between the two at all.

Recent reports suggest, on the contrary, that alleged connections between the Zika virus and microcephaly in Brazilian babies may be due more to hype and hysteria than serious science.

Though the Brazil Ministry of Health has registered an unusually high number of babies born with microcephaly, 96% of these cases occurred without the mothers having been infected with the Zika virus at all, which means that the cause must be sought elsewhere.

The Post says that Zika cases have been reported in the four Latin American nations where abortion is illegal—Chile, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and El Salvador—but fails to mention that there has been no problem with microcephaly in these countries.

Zika has been around for decades, yet up to now has never been found to correlate to birth defects in children. Its effects are so mild and short-lived that 4 out of 5 people infected with the virus do not even realize they are sick. Symptoms include low-grade fever, maybe a rash, possible conjunctivitis (pink eye), and some joint pain.

Noting that “it is extremely difficult for doctors to detect” microcephaly until it is too late, the Post suggests that all women affected with Zika should be allowed to abort their babies, just in case the child might suffer from any defects, even if it is extremely improbable.

“Brazilian activists want women who have been diagnosed with Zika to be able to terminate a pregnancy on that basis alone,” the Post notes. Yet the article also concedes that in Colombia, “3,100 pregnant women in the country have tested positive for Zika,” yet not one case of “Zika-related microcephaly” has been found. These babies would have been aborted in vain, out of fear of a condition that didn’t exist.

Joining in spreading hysteria over “possible” effect of Zika to unborn babies, the Post says that a growing concern among pediatricians is that Zika could inflict harm to developing brain tissue in other, less obvious ways than microcephaly.

“That condition could be the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of a series of neurological problems, some of which might not show up in the brain scans used to spot microcephaly,” the Post says, despite the fact that there is no scientific proof of such a connection, which is pure speculation.

The fact that established ties between Zika and microcephaly are circumstantial at this point has not deterred abortion activists like Planned Parenthood from stirring up panic among pregnant women and exploiting the situation to push for relaxing abortion legislation in Latin American countries where it is restricted.

Instead of promoting research into remedies to treat or counteract the virus, the abortion industry has shamelessly played into people’s worst fears to push for abortion-on-demand in countries like El Salvador that currently restrict or prohibit abortion.

The Washington Post is firmly in their corner.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome