Friday, February 19, 2016

A Pro-Life Guide to Zika: So, what can married couples in Zika effected areas do?

Married couples who are effected by Zika should strive to generously and prudently grow their families - just like they did before. Decisions about marital intimacy and pregnancy are always very personal and discernment is required. A few scenarios illustrate the complexity of these decisions and the generous, prudent, and above all, Catholic responses to these difficult circumstances.
  • Maria and John have three kids and were just starting to feel ready to be open to a 4th when they got news of Zika in their area. Since their home doesn't have mosquito screens or air conditioning, they are worried they are at especially high risk, and they are especially worried after hearing of a pregnant friend whose child is suspected to have been effected. Maria and John decide to use natural family planning to postpone pregnancy until they have more information.
  • Vanessa and Michael have 4 kids and were trying for their 5th when their doctor advised them to avoid pregnancy for at least two years because of the the risk of Zika. They were especially disappointed by this recommendation because they are in their late 30's and worried they won't have many fertile years left to try for #5. After a bit of research, Vanessa and Michael decided to continue trying to get pregnant, but to take ordinary precautions like bug spray, keeping windows shut, etc.
  • Nancy and José are expecting their first child. Unfortunately, José traveled to Northern Brazil and was infected by Zika. They decides to abstain for the remainder of pregnancy to prevent sharing the infection during Nancy's pregnancy.
In the current environment, it is especially important that all Catholics, married and unmarried, must create a pro-life culture that supports couples who are expecting, values unborn children, and provides practical support to families coping with disabilities and poverty. If you are able, please consider donating to a pro-life charity that addresses these issues this Lent.

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