In the wake of the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas, a Brazilian journalist born with microcephaly has said that what’s needed for those with the condition is assistance, not abortion, reports the Catholic News Agency.
The journalist, Ana Carolina Cáceres, told the BBC that microcephaly “is a box of surprises. You may suffer from serious problems or you may not. So I believe that those who have abortions are not giving their children a chance to succeed.”
Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, has been linked to recent cases of microcephaly, a disorder characterized by an abnormally small heads, and often delayed brain development. Since October 2015 Brazil has seen more than 3,600 suspected cases, and 404 confirmed cases (compared with 150 cases throughout 2014).
While the increase in microcephaly is not certain to be linked to the Zika outbreak, it is “strongly suspected,” according to the World Health Organization.
Brazil’s Ministry of Health has recommended that women in areas in the path of the Zika outbreak delay pregnancy for the time being, prompting several group to renew a push for access to contraception and abortion in Brazil. The nation’s health minister said Brazil would have a “damaged generation” because of microcephaly.
Cáceres told the BBC she would respond saying, “What is damaged is your statement, sir.”
She called herself “a fulfilled, happy woman” even though doctors told her parents she would never walk or talk and would enter a vegetative state until she died.