Stories concerning the Zika virus have been all over the news, lately, and for good reason. I am all in favor of informing the public regarding various diseases, as well as methods to keep one (and their family members) safe from them. However, I begin to get concerned when individuals, some of whom lack sound medical knowledge, take it upon themselves to exploit these illnesses in order to foster personal ideologies. Lately, the events that have transpired in both Latin America and South America have not only been an assault on humanity, they have also been an assault on the Catholic Church. Furthermore, there seems to be more to this than just women’s healthcare.
The Zika Virus and Catholic Teaching
A recent article called for the Church to extend leniency on abortions for women who believe they might be infected with the virus so that the children might not suffer on account (I stress the word, might). I may be wrong, but I am willing to bet that this form of reckless and irrational rhetoric does not constitute the principle of double-effect, but I digress….
Even if sufficient medical evidence proves that specific conditions with which children are currently being born are indeed linked to the Zika virus (i.e. microcephaly), the ends still would not justify the means. Nevertheless, abortion advocates, including Planned Parenthood (PP), are digging in their heels in efforts to push their agenda into specific countries that currently prohibit the procedure, and the United Nations (UN) is in step with them.
Fortunately, members of the Catholic hierarchy in places such as Brazil and Peru have struck back, emphatically condemning these underhanded tactics. Brazil Auxiliary Bishop, Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, called the UN’s proposal another way to “reintroduce the abortion topic” and spread a eugenic culture. Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriano of Peru called them “Herods with neckties, public posts, and budgets.” The UN is a staunch ally of Planned Parenthood’s strategy to institute a worldwide culture of death and has never shied away from opportunities to encourage abortion as it fits nicely into their agenda regarding population control.
The Secular Response to Zika
In response to the Zika virus, medical communities, such as those in El Salvador have been able to demonstrate care and concern for all human life. They have been screening pregnant women and tracking those who have tested positive for the virus with regular sonograms and other forms of pre-natal care. These mothers are “being properly inspected and checked by the Ministry of Health” and these measures have yielded tremendous results.
Mothers, who had been infected while pregnant, have given birth to healthy children who have shown no signs of microcephaly, or any other birth defects for that matter. This is a testimony to the act of practicing authentic medicine. Combating a virus by administering the correct (and moral) process of care available to all (born and unborn) and reaping the expected results. This is what healthcare is all about.
Zika and the Abortion Advocates
A line is now being drawn deeper in the sands separating those who feel that all have dignity and worth (regardless of circumstance) from those who feel that some individuals are expendable. Maybe it is because abortion advocates feel a sense of compassion towards these suffering children. Maybe it is towards their mothers. Maybe it is towards neither of them. After all, I am not as convinced that abortion activists will become as eager to educate and counsel women, as they will to ensure they have access to abortion. Is there something more going on here?
This ideology has also made headlines on the home front, bringing with it the usual controversy that often accompanies such events. Representatives at a Catholic Institution recently expressed that along with abortion, artificial birth control must also be utilized to combat the virus. In this day and age, one may be free to debate about the rights of individuals at Catholic institutions to advocate for immoral practices that run counter to Church teaching, but no one can argue that this undermines catechesis. In addition, it causes scandal as many of these institutions insist on referring to themselves as Catholic. Finally, do we even understand the Pope’s words in the proper context, which he spoke them?
A Catholic Response to the Zika Virus
There is an obvious difference between using artificial birth control and practicing natural family planning. The Church teaches that sexual intimacy is not simply for pleasure. The conjugal act must always be open to life. Abstinence and the practice of self control are both important in the marital covenant. Using these measures to combat any threats associated with the Zika virus are both noble and moral. Each respects and upholds both the dignity of life and love. The true meaning of these expressions should never be separated nor demeaned.
These recent events surrounding the Zika virus demonstrate that the abortion industry is relentless in their pursuit to meddle in numerous regions across the globe, especially those where the Catholic faith is strong, and boasts an appreciation for life. Their goal is to attempt to weaken this fervor through loosening restrictions via political pressure or other means necessary, and indoctrinating young women so that they demand access to contraceptives and abortions, as if it is their God-given right. This level and aggressiveness becomes unnerving when one considers that their targets are always the youth.
Zika Virus an Excuse for Population Control?
On another note, there often seems to be a correlation within the minds of those who advocate for “reproductive rights,” especially abortion, and the belief that the population is out of control. Is this just another ploy? After all, the International Planned Parenthood Federation released a statement in 2014 on Population Development, saying that “sustainable and equitable development cannot be achieved without prioritizing sexual and reproductive health and rights.…” One can only assume that this means access to contraceptives and abortions on demand as they yield a better and more profitable society (ironically, it may just be the opposite).
The demographic winter is a term that designates the reality of our times. We are actually hurting our world along with ourselves in more ways than we may ever know. Abortion advocates are far from exonerated from this reality. On the contrary, they are the culprits. Pope Francis, in his 2015 Encyclical, Laudato Si, expressed concern over developing counties receiving pressure by international organizations when it comes to economic aid, making their assistance “contingent on certain policies of reproductive health.”
The fact that widespread abortions are not practiced in many nations throughout South America and Africa (as they are elsewhere in the world) is considered troubling to many of them. However, it may be that the Church is that vibrant within those parts of the world that she is able and willing to withstand the influence and hold her ground amidst the pressure. May they continue to inspire us by remaining steadfast in their approach to respecting the dignity and sanctity of all human life. It is true what they say that the best offense is a great defense, especially when it is a human life you are defending.