Requests for Abortion in Latin America Related to Concern about Zika Virus Exposure
With the rapid emergence of Zika virus throughout Latin America and its association with microcephaly, requests for access to abortion medications through online telemedicine have increased in countries where access to safe abortion is not universally available. On November 17, 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an epidemiologic alert regarding Zika virus in Latin America. Several countries subsequently issued health advisories, including cautions about microcephaly, declarations of national emergency, and unprecedented warnings urging women to avoid pregnancy. Yet in most Latin American countries, abortion is illegal or highly restricted, leaving pregnant women with few options.