Commentary

Terminating the Unborn Is Not the Answer to Preventing and Treating Zika

By Hannah Ellis | August 5, 2016 | 1:56pm EDT
Baby inflicted with Zika virus in Brazil. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

On June 22, just before the crack of a gavel closed out the session for summer recess, the House pushed for the passage of a Zika funding bill. The measure (which passed with some bipartisan support) allowed for federal funds to be directed to Zika virus research, prevention, and treatment options for the coming months by concentrating on vital areas like vaccines and mosquito control.

The bill went to the Senate, where a slim majority voted against it 52-48. You may be asking, “Why would the Senate vote against such a bill?” One reason is that the bill would redirect unused ObamaCare and Ebola funds; but another reason is the bill includes a provision which would not allow supplementary funds to go to Planned Parenthood. Senate members in opposition to the bill argued Planned Parenthood offers contraceptive services that would help stop the spread of the virus through sexual transmission. 

Newsflash: Planned Parenthood is not the only way for women to get birth control.

What’s more, the left’s argument is not simply about funding pregnancy prevention but also pregnancy termination. Multiple media outlets are pushing the same idea for a woman who is infected with Zika during pregnancy,

“[i]f the risk [of their baby having birth defects] is 1 percent, a pregnant woman may well want to carry through the pregnancy. As the risk gets larger, at some point more women may think about abortion, experts say.”

Some Democrats are upset, calling the House bill “a narrowly partisan proposal that cuts off women’s access to birth control.” Yet, the blatantly partisan response on their part was dismissing a bill that would actually help protect women’s health because it didn’t allow a portion of funds to be sent to their pal, Planned Parenthood.

Speaking of which, StemExpress, a friend of that same abortion giant, recently made an unsettling comment. As the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives continues its ongoing examination of the potentially illegal profits gained by the sale of baby body parts, a representative from StemExpress (the firm linked specifically to the investigation) had the nerve to say this in a letter to the panel:

“Many researchers throughout the medical community have shared with StemExpress that their institutions are waiting for the Select Panel to complete its investigation before going forward with additional fetal tissue research specific to the Zika virus and potential treatments.”

Basically, the procurement firm is attempting to salvage their name by claiming its efforts to help find a solution for the Zika virus justify its actions. What skewed thinking that the “means” — seemingly working with groups like Planned Parenthood to kill, dismember, and then sell baby body parts— are justified by the “ends,” disease control. In reality, a group like StemExpress should be well aware that adult stem cells do just fine when it comes to researching the virus. To prove it, a recent study on pluripotent, or adult, stem cells exposed a link between the Zika virus and Microcephaly (a condition where the baby’s head is smaller due to brain underdevelopment).

Research is on-going and additional examination is necessary to determine the true impact and risks of the Zika virus. But for now, Americans are faced with an important question: is there value to all life — including babies born with birth defects? For Concerned Women for America and its members, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.”

Sending funds to Planned Parenthood or terminating the lives of unborn children with birth defects is not the answer to preventing and treating the Zika virus. True women’s health care involves real solutions, support and treatment options.

And sorry, but no matter what their tagline may be, groups like Planned Parenthood and StemExpress do not have the best interests of women — or their babies — in mind.

Increased funding for research and prevention of the Zika virus is of immediate importance — especially as more and more cases are popping up during mosquito season. It is extremely troublesome that reasons like not allocating funds to Planned Parenthood would cause a delay in legislation — it shows just how large a grip the abortion giant has on Congress. The bill is likely to come up again in the Senate after the summer recess. Instead of playing into party politics or violating the consciences of taxpayers who disagree with funding abortion and abortifacient contraceptives, let’s hope our elected members will look to genuine resolutions to study, inhibit, and treat the Zika virus.

Hannah Wegman serves as a policy analyst for Concerned Women for America, the largest public policy women's organization in the nation.

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